Monday, July 25, 2016

Bonus pics

Well, thanks to her new iPad, I received a bunch of pictures this afternoon from their p-day adventure today. They might not be terribly interesting to everyone, but since I'm printing this blog out at the end of her mission, I want all of the pics in there.

They accidentally took the wrong exit and ended up at IKEA :)

Pirate ship on Chesapeake Bay

Sister Galli and Sister Hadley at Chesapeake Bay

Maryland State House

A street in Annapolis
The place they ate lunch - yes, that is a 6 pound milkshake.

Why Am I Awake?

I am leaving for Girls Camp early tomorrow morning, so I'm busy getting ready today, but I wanted to get the blog updated before I left mainly because there are lots of good pictures this week. Here's her letter:

You may be asking yourself why I'm up at 5:30 am writing p-day emails.
To be completely honest, I wish I knew why.  But what you didn't know
is that my companion and one member of the other companionship we
always hang out with are off at the DC mall waiting for the sun to
rise over the Washington monument.  I had every intention to go with
them but the other member of the other companion wanted to sleep
instead.  This meant that I was getting up stupid early regardless to
be dropped off at their apartment.  *sigh* I've actually been awake
since 3 because of all this.   I think I'll hopefully try to fall back
asleep on the couch after I send this email because no one is on this
early to email me back (nor do I blame you).
But I can honestly say that this week was less eventful than last (if
it's even possible?).  After a series of events, including my
companion needing to go to the doctors' (don't worry, nothing serious
at all), we really only did missionary work at the VC.
I did run into two people I knew from Utah this week at the VC,
however, so that was a nice touch.

But this Wednesday marks the end of my first Transfer 😱
Every 6 weeks, we have transfers where every missionary in our mission
has the possibility of changing companion, area, or apartment.  We get
a call Saturday night telling us if we're leaving or staying, but
until Monday night, we don't know where those that are leaving are
going.  This transfer, I'm staying in my area, but my companion is
leaving.  It's strange because most companionships are together for 2
transfers on average, but there's no definite rules.  It's all
according to what God needs.

But hallelujah this week I finally got my iPad!  I waited over 60 days
for this thing and oh how distance makes the heart grow fonder ;)  but
it honestly has been really nice to not need to share a tiny iPad for
the very limited, precious hours on p-day.
On it, the app selection is very limited and very regulated, but
I did grab an app to help me relearn a little bit of Chinese because
there are so many Chinese people in our area and it'd be super useful.

Not too much to report this week.  I'm doing well (although this
weather is killing me) (why would somebody want to live here?) ;)
Hopefully my area will pick up soon and I'll actually have something
cool to email about :P

~Sister Galli

She said she's going to take a picture like this every week to see watch the writing wear off with use over time.

These are her two 'moms'. Sister McArthur (left) was assigned to be her first companion, but because she is from Haiti she can't drive here in the US. Hannah didn't feel comfortable driving there yet, so they assigned her to Sister Williams (right). Photobomb by the Elders.

Pooling their money to buy a cake at a charity auction.

She finally has an electronic device!

The handing out of the coveted iPads.

Riding the metro to the mall

Court of Appeals

A visit from Madi Michaels, one of the young women from our last ward, and someone who Hannah and I both adore. What a fun surprise!
This pic was actually from p-day a couple of weeks ago when their zone played beach volleyball near the Lincoln Memorial.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Using Pokemon to convert

Hannah has been a Pokemon fanatic ever since she was a kid. She literally knew everything there was to know about every Pokemon, every move, every version of the video game (from Gameboy to 3DS), EVERYTHING! So what are the chances that a month and a half after she leaves for her mission, the biggest thing to ever happen to Pokemon HAPPENS? Enter Pokemon GO. As soon as I heard about it I knew I needed to get into it on her behalf. We've all told her things about it, while trying to downplay it somewhat. But let's face it, she's not living under a rock. You better believe people are playing it all over Washington DC, and (although she is getting her iPad tomorrow - YAY!) she can't participate in it. This is probably one of the first big worldly sacrifices of her mission, after turning her beloved phone over to Hayden. I know that the commitments she has made and her desire to follow the rules she has agreed to will win out. She has the big picture in mind right now and this is such a trivial thing in contrast. But she's still a 19-year-old 'kid' in a lot of ways, and it has to be hard for her. It makes me even more proud of her. I love that she used it as the title of her email this week. Here it is:

I really wish I had some cool baptism story to report for this week,
but we don't :/
We were able to meet with a guy and his wife who's been inactive for
most of his life, so we're progressing towards finding an investigator
*nervous laughter*

We have a really hard area - I was told that from the start so I guess
I'm not too surprised - but this is just an area full of people that
have a lot of money and big nice houses.  They're just content in
their possessions and have no desire to change.  I honestly just wanna
tell half of them "it doesn't matter what religion you are--you're not
gonna take your stuff with you when you die".  But I refrain because
I'd rather not be shot.  Our area is really safe, however, so that's a
blessing.  One of the companionships of sisters lives a half hour away
from their area because the apartments in their area are 100% not safe
- we're talking there have been homicides there recently.  So I'm
really blessed in that sense.

I'm reminded of a Native American proverb which goes something like this.
We all have two wolves inside of us and they are always fighting.  One
represents truth, honesty, happiness, compassion, charity, goodwill,
love, and light.  The other represents lies, deceit, sadness,
selfishness, bitterness, hatred, and darkness.  The question then
remains, which wolf wins?  And the answer is quite simple.  The one
that wins, is the one you feed.

Oh how much this is like life!  If we focus on the bad, then certainly
we will view our lives and situations with disgust.  True happiness
comes not from having a good situation but having a good outlook.

I've had to take a step back and look at my situation as a whole many
times this past month or so.  Absolutely, we have one of the hardest
areas in our mission, we don't have any investigators, and we're
dragging down the averages.  But man, I have a car with air
conditioning, I don't have to worry about my safety, and I get to
consecrate 18 months of my life to serving the Omnipotent being that
created me and loves me dearly - yes, even God.

Who knew perspective could mean so much?

I love DC!
~Sister Galli

P.S. The Temple is a special location on Pokemon GO (a new app that's
sweeping the nation), so we have people staring at their phones,
wandering the temple grounds.  We, at the VC, are trying to find a way
to use this to our advantage.

Sister Galli has been out for 56 days, and Sister William has 56 days left.
Of course the math girl would figure that coincidence out.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Everyone Has a Dog

Nothing funny or noteworthy for me to report this week, so I'll just go ahead and post her letter and pics:

Interesting how Monday's are the most hated day of the week except for
missionaries and their friends and family ;)

This week was, yet again, pretty uneventful.  We did however, have a
small miracle on Tuesday that I hope to be able to follow up on this
week :)
We were tracting in a neighborhood for over and hour and the second to
last house we knocked, an Indian man answered the door.  We did our
spiel on what our message was and instead of the usual "no I'm
not interested" he actually asked "Well, is it just you talking or do
you have materials?"  I was taken back, not knowing how to deal with a
positive answer, but Sister Williams and I were happy to give him a
Book of Mormon and our numbers :)
Hopefully that'll turn into something amazing in the future :)
But the lesson I've learned this week (and much of the past weeks) is
patience.  Everyone has the God-given gift of agency, and although
they may not accept the invitation to learn more about our church, we
have still been successful because our purpose is to Invite others to
come unto Christ.  And we have been doing just that.  :)

This last P-day and today we had a lot of fun.  Last week we went to
this awesome burger place called Shake Shack.  I don't like burgers.
This was delicious.  That's how good they were.

Today, we had a zone activity where we went to beach volleyball courts
by the Lincoln Memorial.  I'll have to poke through the pictures
of it this week and send the best ones next week :)

Also, fun fact about Maryland, there are more dogs than children.

With much love
-Sister Galli

At the Shake Shack with Sister Hadley last p-day (7/4)

Playing sand volleyball at a zone activity near the Lincoln Memorial (7/11)
She says that Sister Hadley is her unofficial exchange companion every p-day because their companions are best friends. Only a couple more weeks until she has her own iPad to use. I bet she can't wait. I'm just hoping that means more pictures.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bonus pics!

I have a few pictures that I didn't include yesterday - I forgot about a couple of them that were from last week, and a couple others came later in the day. I definitely want them on here though since we are printing this blog out at the end of her mission.

A lady who is visiting this mission posted this picture on Sunday of these sisters in Relief Society  

Her missionary plaque that will hang at the church until she completes her mission next year

A few of the sisters with the new mission president and his wife

Staging a 'door-knocking' picture at a member's house who wasn't home.
On exchanges with Sister Buhler.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Birthday America!

I was hopeful but not completely sure if we would hear from Sister Galli today with the holiday. I was pleasantly surprised to get a quick 'answer-all-of-mom's-annoying-questions' email this morning, and then her official weekly update email a bit later. I get the feeling that she is super busy but doesn't feel like there's really anything exciting enough to report on. Here's her letter and pics:

How cool is it to celebrate the birth of our amazing country in the nation's capital? Pretty cool, that's how cool.  Though it does look like it'll be rainy tonight so idk how fireworks will work. But regardless, the national pride here is so fun :) πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
This morning, Sister Williams and I helped out the ward/community breakfast by helping the kids decorate their bikes for the neighborhood parade. It was really cool to watch a whole community (regardless of religious affiliation) come together for a fun 4th of July tradition.
But yet again, this week was pretty uneventful.  Mostly knocking doors and being in the visitors' center. We have our first lesson scheduled for later this week :D  hopefully he's actually interested in the church, and not just a nice guy.  Cross your fingers. 😬

It is such a blessing to be in this mission.  I say all the time that we're spoiled. We get iPads, nice cars with air conditioning, national monuments and museums, the visitors center, and I get to see the temple every day :)

After a thunderstorm
So many people come into the visitors center wondering what the castle or Disney world is.  It's super fun to be able to tell people what the temple is used for and how that because of it, families can be together forever--how they have the opportunity to have their family relations last beyond the grave -- that it's not the end for their grandparents that have passed on.  And a solid 9 out of 10 you just see their eyes light up and the consideration of the possibility. And at that point, you have to quote Han Solo from episode VII - "It's true. It's all true."

Keep on keepin' on!
~Sister Galli

First time on the Metro