Friday, May 27, 2016

Loving the MTC

I've been looking SO forward to this day all week. I couldn't wait to hear from Sister Galli to see how her first full week has gone. As a mom you tend to experience your kids' happiness/sadness, accomplishments/failures, strengths/insecurities, etc. right along with them. I've been worried about a few things simply because I didn't know for sure and I just have to wonder how she's doing. I've been hoping that she's happy there, that she likes the sisters she is with, and she feels like she is fitting in. I've also been hoping she is enjoying the work she is doing there at the MTC, and that she is managing to have some fun. Well, with one quick email today all of my concerns, fears, and worries were put to rest.  She is thriving there and I couldn't be happier. Here it is:


The MTC has been a blast!  The first few days felt like they'd never end but now that I've gotten used to the schedule, the days go by quite fast.

ANY OF YOU GOING TO THE MTC.  Make sure your first Sunday night you watch the devotional by Elder Bednar titled The Character of Christ.  It sounds like you can't watch it anywhere but the MTC.  I was unaware one 60-minute talk could change my life and my perspective so much. #ShamelessPlug
It comes down to that if you really want to be more like Christ, you need to get over yourself and serve those around you. 

'Stripes' day
My district is so great.  That's the five other girls in my dorm and me along with a companionship of elders.  May I suggest that the first thing you do at the MTC is become close with your district b/c you literally do everything together.
My district is comprised of myself, Sister Escobar (from AZ going to DC), Sister Erasmus (from Farmington going to DC), Sister Little (from CA going to London temple VC), Sister Green (from Brigham City going to London temple VC), Sister Furhiman (from Wisconsin going to another VC in London), Elder Clark (from Idaho going to Iowa), and Elder Cheshire (from Heriman going to Iowa).  They're a fun bunch and we all get along super well.  We've even started wearing our outfits that match together.  Like Tuesday, we all wore stripes, and on Wednesday we all wore pink ("On Wednesdays, we wear pink").  Our plan for Monday (Memorial Day) is to look absolutely ridiculous and wear red white and blue.  Not just one or two but all 8 of us wear all three colors.  We'll look like a fashion disaster but we're having fun :)

'On Wednesdays We Wear Pink'

Every Sunday we have a member of the Seventy (or sometimes a member of the 12) come and give a devotional.  And this last Sunday we had Elder Renlund speak :0
I had the opportunity to sing in the choir for the devotional and as the choir director said "hearts were touched and lives were changed" (granted he said it sarcastically b/c his humor is the whole reason I go).

So in the MTC, starting your second week (assuming you're speaking your native tongue) you start teaching TRC (teaching resource center) investigators.  The unique thing about them is that they can be members, non-members, less active members, anything.  All volunteers.  So some are acting and some are not and you can't tell.  
The two my companion and I got this week are named Adriana and Lin.  Adriana just moved from Chile a year ago and Lin moved from China 9 months ago.  They're both studying English at BYU but it's really hard working with that language barrier.  However, we think we've figured it out.  Figured it out to the point that we actually got one of them to commit to being baptized last night :0

It was the absolute coolest experience I think I've ever had.  To be able to teach somebody to their needs and then help them receive a witness through the Spirit that this church is true.  And that was only after 3 lessons.
The Spirit was also able to testify to me that I am where I am supposed to be doing what I'm supposed to be doing which made my heart full.

Love you all
~Sister Galli

Her district at the Provo Temple on their Sunday Temple Walk

Two of the districts in her zone.
The elder taking the picture was on the BYU basketball team and is 6'8".He was nominated as their 'selfie stick'.

She is the Online Coordinator
(there wasn't an explanation so I'm not sure what that means)

The laundry room.
She said it's huge and this is only half of it.

Her district at the temple on p-day

Friday, May 20, 2016


I got my wish! A few hours after the first email came, another one came with some pictures:

Her name tag

Her companion, Sister Escobar, from Arizona
Her district.
All of these sisters are going to visitor's centers around the world.
The elders are going to Iowa :\

First Official Email

I sent Hannah an email last night asking her all of the questions that I had hoped she would answer. I was pretty sure I would get an email from her today since it is her first P-day (preparation day - the day that missionaries do their shopping, laundry, writing home, etc).  I've never been more excited about an email message than I was this one. She sounds like she is doing great, which is such a relief as a mom. The last thing I want to hear is that my child is sad or miserable or homesick. I hope that a few pics will eventually accompany her letters, but for now I'll take what I can get. Here it is:

Hey Everybody!  I'm alive. Haven't lost my sense of humor yet either. #win

In the MTC your P-day I think can be any day of the week other than Sunday so that's why mine is Friday.

So just as a quick recap, I'm here for 4 weeks - until June 14 and here's why.
The normal stay for somebody speaking their native language is 3 weeks. However there's a special last week for any visitor center (Vc) mission.

My companion's  name is Sister Escobar and she's from Arizona.  She's coming to DC with me.  And there's my room that currently has 5 sisters in it, but supposedly the sixth is coming this afternoon.  We have yet to see, however.  All six of us are going to visitor centers.  3 of us to DC, one to London Temple VC, and one to some famous chapel VC in England. I'm pretty sure they set up your companion and roommates to all come and leave on the same day and ideally your companion is going to the same mission as you.

There were very little security checks.  They didn't check our rooms or bags at all. I totally could have taken my cat.  They just made sure I was who I said I was and that's it.
The bookstore here has absolutely everything you could imagine in it.
You also get an MTC card that gives you $8 a week on it to spend in the bookstore ($6 for elders, not sure why the difference).
You're expected to be with your companion 24/7 however, you don't have to be with your companion when you're both on your floor (which includes bathrooms, showers, and vending machines) which is so dang nice.

We're allowed to work out a few times a week but it won't be intense at all.  We're talking playing croquet and and other sports on the field, or using machines in the gym.  

However, tomorrow will be the first day I work out and I know I'll appreciate that time.  The rest of the time is a lot of sitting and eating and sitting and eating and sitting and eating and sitting and sleeping and sitting.... etc.  

I have to admit that I've gone for my phone quite a few times for various things from my flashlight to my camera. 

I didn't sleep very well the first night.  I got a top bunk right next to the AC vent so stick the skinny kid by the AC sounds like a good idea.  So come early if you want to claim a good bed.

But it's been crazy busy.  They really throw you right in.  Sink or swim.  Yesterday I was already teaching my first investigator (they're not real investigators, just actors, but they are acting out their real conversion story or conversion stories of people they taught on their missions so that's cool). I have another investigator to talk with tonight.  It's really scary.  

My tips are to really read and become familiar with Preach My Gospel and the Scripture Mastery in the Book of Mormon. However there's been very little traditional teaching in the classrooms.  So you already have to know your stuff before you get here.

You also go to the temple every P-day with your branch so that'll be so nice to just sit in the celestial room for a few.

Something that's been killing me is that they don't want you using the words guys, boys, girls, dude, man, etc so that's probably been the hardest adjustment to be honest. 

They aren't kidding when they say the spirit is so strong here.  Come ready to jump right in.

Love you all
~Sister Galli

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Off to the MTC

We had kind of a hectic morning, writing thank you notes and finishing up the packing. We wanted to leave time to stop by my grandparents' house for her to see them before she left, and we also wanted to grab lunch as a family. Well, we finally left home around 11:30, which was half an hour later than I wanted to.

We stopped by Grammy and Pop's for about five minutes and then we were on our way. By the time we got into Provo, we only had 15 minutes until we needed to drop her off so we went through the drive thru at Jimmy Johns and grabbed her a sandwich. She ate as much as she could in the ten minutes it took us to get to the MTC. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot we were hurried along the Wednesday drop-off procedures. We stopped, got her luggage out of the back, had the sister missionary take a quick family picture, gave hugs, shed a tear or two, and then she was whisked away. I don't think she even looked back - I hope she didn't.

We drove away and felt a comforting relief wash over us. Three months of planning, preparation, and anticipation had finally come to an end. Now the real work begins for Sister Galli. She sent a quick email to let us know she made it safely and that her p-days will be on Friday there at the MTC. Her email address is and her mailing address is:

Sister Hannah Elizabeth Galli
2005 N 900 E Unit 128
Provo UT 84602

I'm sure she would love to hear from you, but there is no guarantee she will write you back, especially for the first couple of weeks. I can't imagine that there is much downtime at the MTC, even on p-day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Being Set Apart as a Full-time Missionary

A member of the Stake Presidency (President Jim Gardner) and our bishop came over to our house at 8:00 pm. We had invited grandparents to be here with us as Hannah was set apart as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We first went around the room and gave Hannah advice or shared our feelings and thoughts about her and her decision to serve a mission. This was a very special and emotional time for everyone. Then, the priesthood holders put their hands on her head and President Gardner set her apart and gave her a blessing. When he was done she was no longer 'Hannah, the individual', she is now 'Sister Galli', a representative of Jesus Christ and His church here upon the earth. It was a really neat experience.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Mr Smith Goes to Washington

When I was trying to think of a catchy name to use for her mission blog, the first Washington DC reference that popped into my head was the old Jimmy Stewart film from the 1930s, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I haven't seen the movie, but the synopsis tells me that he goes to Washington DC to try to 'make a difference'. Of course, it means politically, but I still think it fits. Hannah is going to Washington DC to try to make a difference in the lives of those she comes in contact with and those whose hearts the Lord has prepared. I think it is a perfect comparison. Maybe I'll even have to watch the movie, even though it's black and white.