Monday, October 16, 2017

Baptism Week!

This week we were privileged to taste the fruit of our labor again! We were able to help Adrian into the waters of baptism. Now he has a pretty cool story. Here's the recap:
Adrian was contacted by elders in Rockville just around a year ago. They gave him a card, but Adrian wasn't ready at that time. After an incredibly hard trial in his life, he felt the need to thank God so he called the phone number on that card 6 months after initially receiving it. After meeting with him once, those new elders passed him to the Potomac ward elders and were able to teach him twice.  However, not long after that, Adrian moved back in with his family who happens to live in our area.  We met Adrian on the 2nd of September this year, and we met with him a few times a week ever since.  He told us that his parents always spoke highly of the Church, and turns out, they've been less-active members for about 20 years but they've been coming with Adrian to church these past few weeks. What a miracle family!  (We're not sure how interested his siblings are, but we're working with the one step at a time.)
And then on top of that, we briefly touched on how last week we were able to help Paul be baptized as well! 
These two families will always hold dear places in my heart.
Last week I was essentially unable to email because we went to Arlington cemetery as all the sisters leaving the mission in the next 6 months.
The senior couple that was guiding our tour said something very profound at the end of it that I'd like to share with all of you.  It mostly relates to missionaries that are returning home soon, but anyone can apply the teachings.  This was told to us after we watched the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

"It has probably occurred to you that those who guard the Tomb have a number of things in common with you. They are in the prime of life. They are fit, attractive in a way, well groomed and well dressed. They are acknowledgeable in their duties. They wear a special badge. They are accountable for their behavior. They are designated representatives of a higher power with duties they are expected to perform to a certain time to the best of their ability.
There are, however, significant differences between you and those who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. For one, you represent not a multitude of grateful citizens, but one who died to save us from ourselves and death and sin and foolishness. Not one of these guards has authority to heal the sick or confer the Holy Ghost, except he change his fine uniform for undistinguished white clothing and receive baptism from one like you, and receive the priesthood by an authorized servant of the God of both living and dead. Not one of these guards will walk back into the presence of God and be set at the head of his family until he has traded his shiny shoes for white slippers, and his well-pressed tunic for the robes of the priesthood, and has covenanted to give his all to a greater cause than the respectful remembrance of those who have gone before.
Each man and woman assigned here at Arlington will have exactly the same opportunity as everyone you have ever met, to learn and understand and choose which path he or she will take. Some will choose to pace back and forth, back and forth. Others will move forward holding on to the Rod. Some of those, who, like you, have once chosen to move forward, will change their minds and forfeit the progress they have made and slip back into worldly ways, like returned missionaries who go to sacrament meeting wearing striped clown socks, form-fitting dresses, and hurricane hair; or who trade temple attendance for a day at the spa.
But I pray that there will be some, perhaps all of this group, who will retain a remembrance of what they have seen and felt, here and elsewhere in their mission and in other holy places, treasuring up all that is noble and uplifting and good, and go on in greater diligence and service, pursuing their education, forming a family on principles of righteousness and fulfilling the promises of their patriarchal blessings and other scriptures.
For the living, Arlington is a place in which to only spend a short time, like a mission field; but it can serve as a reminder of God's great plan for his children. For at that day when the trump shall sound and the dead shall come forth by thousands here, there will be no more need of guards; but the preaching of the gospel shall go on and on, "till it has penetrated every continent, visited every climb, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."
The earthly work of those buried is done here, but yours is not. May you continue faithful until it is, until you may receive all that the Father has promised the faithful, I pray.
We must do better. We must do more. On, on to the victory! (D&C 128:22-23)"

May we strive to be changed by the Atonement of Christ and stay changed!
~Sister Galli

Paul and family

Arlington Cemetery

All of the sisters who will be going home in the next six months
Arlington Trip

Baptism of Adrian

Sis Galli and Sis Yancey

Monday, October 9, 2017


Video this week because we've been at Arlington all day.

At Arlington

Sis Galli and Sis Yancey

At Paul's baptism

Monday, October 2, 2017

Warm Before the Storm

This week was quite mild and pretty warm, although the mornings and evenings are beginning to have a "crisp" feel to them.  It won't be long before the leaves begin changing and the snow begins falling. 
But what storm is coming that I must warn you all about? One is that next p-day, we will leave the mission. Yes, it's premeditated. We will be going to Arlington National Cemetery with all the missionaries going home within the next 6 months, as has been the tradition for many mission presidents. So chances are high I will have little to no time to email next week.
The other thing is that we have a Baptism this Saturday! It's for Paul, Mireille's husband. I have been so blessed to have played a small but significant part in their eternal journey.  And not just see it, but to have an active role in all of their conversions! Their family will always be near and dear to me.

General Conference was Fantastic! At least of the 85% of it we were able to watch. At the VC, we have to miss one talk per session as to cover the floor and greet and teach any non-members that happen to come into the VC at that time.  We were able to teach to men from Sweden actually during the first speaker on Sunday morning so that was cool.

This week I've really taken the time to see God's hand in my life. It's not something I'm very good at seeing in the moment, but even just daily reflection at the end of the day has made it so I can see what's been hiding in plain sight.  I'm so grateful for all we've been given as members of the restored gospel, especially the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. It's an amazing gift so please share it with others!

Having more fun than ever before!
~Sister Galli

The end of the mission sometimes makes this happen.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Final 42

This past week was Transfers and, scary as it is to say, this is my last one.  I have begun the last 42 days on my mission.
I will be both beginning and ending my mission in the great ward and area of Kentlands and I am so blessed to have Sister Yancey be my twelfth and final companion. But with this in mind, it's given me the chance to really reflect on what I've done with the past 16 months of my life and how I'm planning to spend the next 42 days and the next chapter or two of my life--what I want to accomplish and how I want to use this precious time. Everyone always talks about how short a mission is and I don't think anyone believes it until they actually get the chance to try it out themselves.  The key that makes it go by so fast is that you are constantly working and there's rarely a slow moment.  It is a time of intense, fast-paced learning and refinement by God and depending on how much you resist determines how much you are able to grow and become useful in God's hands. To the degree of which we are willing to sacrifice is also the degree of which we are able to be useful.

Sorry about this one being short again this week, but our schedule this week is so tight that we're having to schedule some appointments during our p-day hours. #GoodProblemToHave  Adrian and Paul are both doing great and are both still pumped and prepared for their baptisms October 7 and 14.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Accomplish all that God has for you to do!!

~Sister Galli

The Terrific Trio

The Dynamic Duo

Trio with Adrian

Monday, September 18, 2017

Yet Another Weekly

With all that happened last week, I guess it's no surprise that this week was a little bland.

It was another great week in Maryland.
We've also spent the better part of our p-day making bread with one of the senior sisters at her apartment so this email will be short.
We were able to meet with Adrian a few more times and he is very prepared and ready to be baptized in a few weeks :)
Paul is great as well! I've never had an area with so many people ready and willing to learn and keeping their commitments. 
I'm excited to be able to work and serve these people in the Maryland/DC area for another 6 weeks!!  I'll know this evening if I'll be spending that time in Kentlands or in another area that needs me!

~Sister Galli

Sis Sheffer loves skin care so we did facials with volcanic ash

Baking bread with Sister Tolman

Monday, September 11, 2017

From the Old West 🐴 to the Vatican ⛪️

...and everything in between!

So much happened this week, and thankfully I have pictures to go along with almost all of it :)

Our week started out quite normal but abnormally slow, especially at the VC where, since the temple is closed for the month of September, our visitors have been few and far between.  It has been pushing us to be a lot more creative with our time there and to work harder with our online contacts.  However, often times there are more sisters at the VC than computers, so sometimes boredom takes over and funny pictures result.

On Thursday night, we were asked by the stake primary president if the three of us would be willing to help out at a daddy-daughter activity. We, being missionaries, love to serve however we can and happily agreed.  The activity was Saturday night and the  theme of the activity was Old West, so we dressed up in our plaid (courtesy of Sister Yancey) and were the models to help the group know how to square dance.   We had a little bit more fun than we should have ;)

Sunday we helped with an Interfaith Unity Walk in DC.  There were about 20 missionaries that were allowed to help but we were in the group where our only purpose was to walk with the group and answer any questions about the Mormon faith.  During the walk, we stopped by a lot of Cathedrals and other houses of worship, including the Vatican Embassy. As some sisters were walking, they saw a small procession of cars and a limo coming down the street.  One of them joked saying, "That must either be a funeral or the President." Turns out it was the latter. Not only that but President Trump rolled down the window and waved to them.  #OnlyInDC

And even though our area is almost 100% residential, we took some time this morning to explore the Kentlands area.

Now for the more spiritual side of things.

We had yet another amazing lesson with Paul and Mireille as well as shared a meal with them.  They are my favorite family ❤️ Paul is progressing nicely and is continuously excited to be baptized come October.

We were also able to meet with Adrian two more times as well as he came to church yesterday!  We invited him to be baptized the last weekend of October and he said, "sooner the better".  :D

It's amazing to see how much the nature of this area has changed over the 14 or so months that I've been in the field.  God can get a lot of work done when we are submissive and willing to make sacrifices.

Keep being awesome!

~Sister Galli

We tracted in the jungle

At PetSmart because Sis Yancey was missing her bearded dragon

Sometimes the VC drives you to the point of insanity when only 18 people come during the entire day

The Trio

At the InterFaith Unity walk

Old West Trio

Monday, September 4, 2017

We Broke into the Mission Home 🔦

It was late Thursday evening. The three of us sat in the darkened car, eyeing the mission home, wondering how this was all going to go down. We finally got up the courage and made a mad dash for the front door, carefully carrying all the supplies we would need.  Getting through the front door was easy--no alarms activated.  We were in and out within 3 minutes.  Five minutes later, we were in the car, a few miles away with big grins of satisfaction on our faces.


This week was great!
On Tuesday, we were able to teach Paul again.  We taught the Plan of Salvation and invited him to be baptized October 7th, to which he replied "Why not? I can't be half-committed" :D  That family has been a miracle since day one and I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be a part of it. I look froward to seeing what else Heavenly Father has in store for that amazing family.

Thursday was good too! Yes, we did in reality break into the mission home. It was quite easy seeing that they front door is always unlocked (hence why I'm certain Kentlands is the safest area in the mission). Our purpose was to leave snickerdoodle cookies for President because his birthday was on Friday and we succeeded.  He called to thank us afterwards :)   (thanks for the recipe Mom)

We were finally able to get in contact with Helen and she's moving.... so we'll see if we can still teach her or if we'll have to pass her, but a baptism, no matter which area, is always a point for Team Jesus.

We also got a referral this week for a kid named Adrian.  He's YSA, but the zone leaders thought he'd be best suited in a family ward, so we have the privilege of teaching him as well.  We only met and taught him briefly on Saturday, but we also have high hopes for him!

Remember, God is good!

~Sister Galli