Monday, October 30, 2017

This Is The End

I’m not sure what I expected to come up with when I sat down, determined to write an incredible last weekly email. 

How can you sum up the last 18 months of your life in a general email, let alone with emotionless characters on a screen?
My mission has been a complete rollercoaster of events and emotions.  To use even a handful of adjectives would not give it an accurate sketch.
Was it “the best two years” of my life? No, honestly. Not at all.  
But with that same amount of honesty, it was the best two years FOR my life.
I am so thankful for my mission and for what it has done with my old life and for how it will impact my future. 

Here are just a few things I’ve either learned or had my testimony strengthened of on my mission:
1. With every fiber of my being, I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God; that it was translated by the true, holy prophet of God, Joseph Smith; and that anybody can know of it’s truthfulness by reading from its pages and praying to our Father in Heaven about it.
2. I know that every person has the potential to become what God wants them to be—be it strangers on the street or you—anyone can repent, everyone can be forgiven, and everybody can change.  
3. Enduring to the End should be our goal, but life is also meant to be enjoyed! If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. Make the most of the little things and share a smile with everyone.
4. God is mindful of every single one of His children and is literally in the details of all their lives. There will be people you meet, seemingly randomly, where you will be able to influence each other’s lives for good, and you were only able to do that because God had your paths cross at that right time for that right reason. There are no such things as coincidences!

I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I know that He has Restored His Church in these last days to prepare us for His Second Coming.  Of these and many other truths, I am certain.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
~Sister Galli

All of the VC sisters after our farewell (the five sisters holding hands in the middle of the pic are leaving)
The 'Elders' at the ward Trunk-or-Treat

Monday, October 23, 2017

No Email This Week

Mom minute:
I was able to chat with Sis Galli back and forth this morning. She said their apartment is going to be painted and have new carpet installed this week, so they will be moving in with some members for a few days. I suspect she got busy packing, etc and just ran out of time to send a general email. I thought I would use this opportunity to post a couple of letters that two of her companions have sent me over the past few months (names have been removed for privacy online). I suspect she will want them to be included when we make the blog into a book. These letters mean so much to me! It's so nice to know that your child is affecting others in a positive way out in the world.

Hi! This is Sister _____________, I'm one of Sister Galli's companions. 
I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how amazing your daughter is. 

First of all, Sister Galli has an incredible amount of patience! I am a pretty new missionary, and I had just finished my training at the time we became companions. I make alot of mistakes, yet she has never chastised me for it. She has shown me nothing but kindness. I am so grateful to have had her help this transfer in teaching me how to be a better missionary. 
Another thing I am especially grateful for is Sister Galli's example of Christlike service. Every time there is a need, she finds a way to fill it. I am just amazed at her kindness! There have been times this transfer when i have gotten really stressed, and she always helps me calm down.

 I also have to note that she always has a smile on her face, and her beauty shines from the inside out! 

Sister Galli is also very knowledgeable about practiaclly everything! I am grateful for her impeccable memory, because it has helped our companionship alot in this area! Especially because I am pretty forgetful. Her quick thinking is instrumental in helping to make the schedule for all of the VC sisters. She is a wonderful VC trainer! Her mind is incredible, and she chooses to use her intellectual talents to help in God's work, it's awesome!

Thank you for raising her to be the wonderful influence that she has been here in this mission! Her example has made a positive impact in my life, and she inspires me to be better. I feel lucky to know your daughter :) 

Thank You!
Sister ______________

Hey, so this is Sister _________. I thought I should email you and let
you know how awesome your daughter is.
Sister Galli has been such a friend to me. She has taught me so much
about the gospel, missionary work, and myself. She's smart, funny, and
genuine. Thank you so much for raising her in the gospel. She has
become one of my best friends out here.
I'm really impressed with her. She works hard and she knows how to
have fun. She also loves you very much and likes talking about you. It
sounds like she has a great relationship with you. Having a good
mother-daughter relationship is something to be highly cherished
because not everyone has that.
We've had lots of great adventures together. She takes me to PetSmart
because I love pets and have been having withdrawals..... she is very
mindful of my needs.
She also is very dedicated and loves serving people. I notice her love
for the sisters at the Visitor Center because she always puts them
first with scheduling and such so they have a good VC schedule that
I can't thank you enough for all the many long years spent on raising
Sister Galli. The challenges of being a parent are overwhelming to say
the least, so thank you. You have raised one awesome daughter who is
changing the lives of all she meets. She has left a great legacy here
in the mission.
You should be proud.

Sister ___________

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