Monday, August 29, 2016

Lucky Number Seven 🍀7️⃣

This week was really cool!
Thursday marked my 100th day out in the mission! 🎉💯🎉 
I feel so accomplished but then again, I'm shocked that nearly a fifth of my mission is over and I still have yet so much to accomplish.  I kept hearing that missions are short and I didn't believe it one bit, but now I'm starting to get an understanding of what they've meant.  Don't waste any time!

As for the week, I have a few cool and funny stories to tell. But let's start with the bad news.

Since Patty moved, we've really had a hard time getting in contact with her and meeting with her because where she's staying now is ever so slightly out of our area's boundaries and she doesn't have a car.  With that being said along with some other issues, she also hasn't been able to come to church the past month.  She's still super pumped to get baptized, but we're unfortunately feeling the need to push her date back a little, so we're working on that situation.

It was also a whirlwind of emotions on Thursday.  The appointment we had with Magic and his family Tuesday night fell through and we called him Thursday morning to see if we could meet with him Friday night at the church building.  He said that he really didn't want to meet with us in his home... Because they found flippin' Black Mold all over their kitchen (behind the fridge, in the walls and floor) and are trying to move out by Wednesday or earlier  D:
Like c'mon! Why do all our investigators have to move??
But on this same phone call, he said, "but we didn't want to move too far so we found a place in the area because we have found our church."
If Sister Minguito and I were criers, we would have been sobbing messes on the floor with tears of joy.
Oh how so very much this family has been prepared by the Lord to find the Church and be a part of this Great and Marvelous Work!

Friday night, a member in the ward held a birthday party for his daughter and invited a lot of his non-member friends along with half the ward.  It was at a state park with a barbecue, lots of room for the kids to run around, very not threatening so it was a great environment for us to contact potential investigators.  One guy named CJ (not too many years older than me) was super excited to be there.  He told nearly everyone--at least once--that he was a "non-Mormon supporter of the Mormon faith," that he loved that the Mormon faith transcends cultural differences etc, and that he loved church history and what Joseph Smith did.  He'd read parts of the Book of Mormon and really loved the last book, Moroni.  He just wasn't sure if he believed it.  He also made it very clear that he was not interested in converting.
Well, we told him that we would love to teach him more about the Church even if he wasn't interested in converting, invited him to come to church, and gave him a card with our number and church address on it.
Sunday morning rolled around and CJ was there in the foyer.  We said hi and such and then he said, "Last night, I prayed about the Book of Mormon and I got all these spiritual feelings so... I'm a Mormon now." We said that's great but that in order to be a complete member, he'd have to get baptized, to which he wondered if we could do that that afternoon.  We told him we'd have to teach him a few things first but he could be baptized in two weeks.
Miracle much?  
This is why we need more people to read and pray about the Book of Mormon because God will tell them it's true!

Despite the mold and impending move, Magic and his family were also able to make it to church!  We sat by them and they all said they loved it.  However, the mom, Joanna, was a little irked by the little things like people chewing gum during church because she views it as very disrespectful.  #JustCultureThings

All in all, it's been a really great week!
I can feel all the prayers that you're sending my way!

~Sister Galli 

(Lucky number seven = seven investigators at church = new ward record = win)

Breakfast at the Burgons this morning
(they are a senior couple at the Visitor's Center)

Service activity last week

Zone activity last week

Unplanned stripes #ItHappensQuiteOften
(I promise I'm not that pale, they're just from Honduras and Samoa)
Their AC was broken today in their apartment building and it was 87 degrees inside,
so Hannah the Engineer rigged up a window cooler that she found in the closet.

Monday, August 22, 2016

An American and a Spaniard walk up to a Pole....

 Interesting how because I send so very few things to others anymore
that I have a harder time starting these emails.  I guess I'll jump
right into what's been going on this week.

I've been getting better at living on less sleep!  Which is super good :)
Unfortunately I've discovered this for two not so good reasons.  The
first is crazy early meetings on Sundays and the second happened this
Thursday and Friday.  We got a frantic call Thursday evening from
Patty.  Turned out her daughter (probably 40 years old) had paid rent
late the past few months and didn't pay last month at all ("but she
had the money"). So the landlord told them to be out of their house by
11 the next morning.  Sister Minguito and I got together a band of
elders to help us help them move the next morning starting at 6am.
They filled three moving truck loads (which is really impressive for
the size of the townhome) and after they had dropped it all off in
various storage units, the sheriff came to their home to tell them
that the eviction notice gave them 10 days to move their
landlord lied to them for no reason.  So that was an adventure.  But
she still is super excited to be baptized next month (if she can find
a place to live and is still living in our area 😬).

There's one other thing I wanna talk about in this email (and it
should give my fellow missionaries hope).
Sunday, we went to church, and after the first hour, a senior
missionary couple came up to us and said they had a family they wanted
us to visit and share the gospel with.  We were happy to accept this
referral and went over with them to this family's home after church.
They're a family that semi-recently moved here from Poland.
I'm not sure if you are familiar with the term "golden" but without a
doubt, this family had been prepared by the Lord to come in contact
with these senior missionaries and accept the gospel.  We mostly
introduced ourselves and got to know them a little better, but
everything we talked about concerning what we believe, they were
amazed that we had exactly what they had been looking for.  From the
importance of reading the scriptures to having a strong community to
thinking coffee and alcohol are bad for you.  They agreed.  We're
meeting with them again Tuesday night and hope to invite them to be
baptized!  Probably one of the coolest things about this story is that
the father's name is Polish but is pronounced "Magic" and this family
is truly magical.

~Sister Galli

#SketchiestReferralEver #WeDidntDie

When using Google Maps to find a house, you sometimes come across gems like this

When your mom asks if it's been cooling down in Maryland yet
The temple is so beautiful! I'm so blessed to have the opportunity to see it every day.
And it looks different every day too!

Not a single one of these temple pics have been edited.
It truly is the House of the Lord. A little piece of heaven on earth.

No mountains :(
(Can you spot the temple?)

Monday, August 15, 2016

For Lack of a Better Subject

(Figures today is the only day I don't have wifi in my apartment,
right? Thank goodness for free church wifi!)

Hello one and all!

I think this is week 12 because this Thursday marks my 3 month mark 😱
At first I think I haven't been on my mission all that long, but then
I think of the last time I played a video game and it changes to: it's
only been 3 months? ;)

This week we've been killing it when it comes to how many lessons
we've had.  We've actually had more lessons this week (not including
at the VC) than most full-proselyting sisters get.  It raises the
question, what do they do all day? 😐

Sister Minguito and I had a really cool experience this week.  Our
investigator, Patty, is trying to overcome some concerns she has with
one part of the Word of Wisdom.  The Chinese sisters before had
suggested that she get a priesthood blessing from President Johnson to
help her overcome this and we were finally able to arrange it for this
past week.
Since President Johnson is a busy man, we had to wait a little while
before he was able to show up.  Sister Minguito can play 3 hymns on
the piano and we sang to those and talked about the gospel until he
got to the church building.  Then he gave Patty a blessing and it was
an amazing experience for all of us.  I hear giving a priesthood
blessing is the coolest but strangest thing because essentially God
just fills your mouth with what He would have said to the recipient.
It was very apparent that this was the case this Wednesday.
Afterwards, Patty said she had completely forgotten the rest of us
were there in the room with her and she was "just havin' a
conversation with the Lord".  It was a really cool experience and the
Spirit was so strong.  :)

Today was a "deep clean the apartment because there have been workers
installing new utility lines in our apartment this past week" day.
Funny thing.  One of the days, we actually left out some copies of The
Book of Mormon with a note saying "for the kind workers".  When we
came home, the copies were gone #IndirectMissionaryWork

When I'm online at the VC, I get my faith challenged every day.  It's
hard to see so many people so angry towards your beliefs and have no
other motive than to destroy your testimony.  But little do they know
that everything I learn about other religions and this church only
strengthens what I already believe.  One of the prophets once
counseled, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith".  When I
talk to people who doubt this church, I, being a very logical person,
tell them that certainly God would know if this was His true church,
right?  That makes sense.  If you really want to know if this church
is true, why not ask God Himself?
I think this video is really cools and it explains this principle
really well:

I hope you guys all know how much I love you all and how much your
support means to me!

~Sister Galli


Monday, August 8, 2016

Hacked iPads 📱

Buenos Dias!
This week seems to have flown by incredibly fast.  Maybe it's because
I really like my new companion, maybe it's because we finally have a
progressing investigator.  I don't know though.  It's just been a
really good week :)

For those of that don't actually read my email and just wanna know
about my subject line, you can scroll to the bottom.

As for missionary work, we had another set of sisters in our ward, but
after transfers a week ago, they left and we inherited their area book
and all their investigators.  For the moment, we have three
investigators that are showing potential :)
The one we found and two we "stole".  We met with all three this week
and it was so good to finally be able to teach an investigator (unlike
the whole first 10 weeks of my mission).
The one, we don't know all that much about.  Just that she's roommates
with a member who's only recently decided to come back to church so
that's exciting :)
The one we found, his name is Sean and he's a hoot.  He's only a few
years older than us and I think his favorite hobby is going off on
tangents.  Teaching him always tests our skills on how quickly we can
adapt to his questions.  He's not too sure about organized religion as
a whole, but he actually believes in a lot of the same things we do
already.  However, we'll probably be passing him off to the elders in
the Young Single Adult ward because he needs to surround himself with
people that are peers and good influences.
The third we're teaching, her name is Patty and she's also a
character.  She's probably old enough to be my grandma, and although
she has a few concerns with the Word of Wisdom, she knows she needs to
be baptized and wants to come closer to Christ.  She told us, "I want
to go inside that temple, but the sisters said I first have to be
dipped in the water."  She's really funny.  She told us she loves
coming to church, especially on Fast and Testimony week, but she said
she just can't get into our music.

For P-day today, we're going to the city.  Sister Minguito wanted to
take me to a Spaniard restaurant and then we'll go to a museum or two.

As for my subject line, on Tuesday I left my iPad at the VC on
accident (I was there Wednesday morning so no big deal really).  But I
opened up my iPad and this was my home screen: 

Gotta love the VC! Hope you all have a great rest of the week!

- Sister Galli

Random building, according to Sis Galli.
It looks like it says Dept of Justice on it.

National Air and Space Museum pano

National Air and Space Museum pano

Sis Galli and Sis Minguito outside the National Air and Space Museum

Sister Galli and Sister Minguito

This last picture didn't come from Sis Galli. 
It was sent to me (via text) from a church member in her area with this message:
"Hello! This is the Hellewell Family from the Kentlands Ward in the Washington DC Stake. I had a great visit with these excellent sisters tonight. Just wanted to let you know they are working hard and doing great things! - Rob"

These surprise pictures are so fun to get. I love it when kind people take the time to think about the moms of these young people and send a quick message. It makes my day every time! Plus, Hannah is actually the tall one for a change. I bet she loves that!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Transfers and Spaniards 🇪🇸

¡Hola Amigos!

I hope all of your weekends were fantastic :)

This week, like I mentioned last week, was transfers where I got my
new companion.  Her name is Sister Minguito.  She's been on her
mission for 16 months and is from Spain.  It's super nice because we
have a lot in common.  This week has been great because although I've
been working harder than ever, I've also been a lot happier.
Interesting that an increase in one leads to an increase in the other.
Correlation or causation, you decide ;)

We got a heck of a lot done this week.  The Chinese sisters that were
sharing our ward and area left for other parts of the mission, so we
inherited all their contacts.  We got an investigator out of that as
well as a few other potential investigators.  Then by our own efforts,
we met with an investigator and he seems super interested in learning
more :) some of his extended family lives in Utah so he's heard some
pretty funny half-truths about Mormonism--quite a few from his tattoo
artist ;)

Today is more of a relaxing p-day filled with cleaning, emailing, and
napping.  It's necessary every once in a while, y'know?

But I guess I've never really explained what we do at the VC, have I?
Well it's not too complicated :)
6/7 days a week, we go to the VC for either a morning or evening shift
(from 9-3:30 or 3:30-9).  The rest of the day, we're in our normal
proselyting areas doing normal missionary things (i.e. Tracting,
having lessons, street contacting, etc.).  My area is about a 25-30
minute drive away from the VC so that takes a lot out of our day.
But at the VC itself, we help a lot of members and nonmembers.  My
favorite thing to explain to nonmembers is the temple model: a 5 ft
tall, 3D printed cutout model of the temple.  What's cool is that
there are only two temple models in the world--this one and the one in
Salt Lake.  So many people come in wondering what that "big white
castle is off the beltway".  After explaining what each of the rooms
are used for in the temple, some people just think it's cool, but
others actually want to learn more about our religion which is
exciting :)
When we're not on "the floor" helping those that come in, we're in the
back on computers where we essentially run  We run the
chats on there and send Bibles to people who request them.  It's
really fun actually :)  a lot of missionaries say they get home and
have to relearn how to type (because of how rarely they use computers
on their missions), but not me :)  I have to quickly type every day.

So there's a little bit more about what's going on in my life.  What
about yours? I've heard from so few of you.  I love emails :)

I love you all!

~Sister Galli

Sister Galli and her new companion, Sister Minguito from Spain.
(This is a really good thing - valuable lessons have been learned, but prayers have definitely been answered.)