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

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

Monday, August 28, 2017

Short Week

I'll skip the pleasantries this week and jump right into the meat.
This week's highlight was that we were able to teach Mireille's husband, Paul, the Restoration, and he happily accepted it all :) He's also been reading the French Book of Mormon that we gave their family and attends church every week with his wife and step-kids. I know I've said this a few times before, but it is amazing to be able to see the fruit of our labor being called back to my first area.  I'm so thankful for this opportunity.
Other than that, honestly, not a whole lot has happened.  Helen has been kind of MIA this week, but we hope to be able to track her down this week and find out what's up.
The weather has taken a strange turn here and is actually quite nice outside, when this time last year was so hot and muggy that I didn't know what to do with myself.
It's great being in a trio--never a dull moment!

~Sister Galli

The Trio

The Visitors Center has such nice glassware that never gets used..except by us :)

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Trio Transcends!

That sinking feeling you get in your chest when the clock hits 6pm on a Monday and you haven't sent out a group email for  that week. *gulp* Well, I'm alive and two weeks worth of missionary life to update you all on. How fun :)

So since I emailed last, we had Transfers! As expected, Sister Rawlins, Sister Wilcox, and I all parted ways, each getting a new companion.  However, what was the least expected of it all, was that I was transferred to be in another Trio, in my first area! So more likely than not, I will end my mission in the same area which I began. #LivingTheDream

My two new companions are Sister Yancey and Sister Sheffer.  Sister Yancey is from Firth, Idaho and has been on her mission for 11 months. Sister Sheffer is from Phoenix, Arizona and just finished being trained here in Kentlands, so I am greenie-breaking for the third time.  (What's funny is I also was the one greebie-breaking her I'm old).

I received a great welcome back into the ward with almost all the members remembering me and being genuinely happy to see me again. One of the main reasons they were happy is probably because I found a lady that got baptized, and since then, her three children have been baptized and her husband wants to be taught as well! It's nice to see the fruits of our work because it quite honestly doesn't happen all that often in life (and especially missionary life).

It feels good to be back on home-turf.

One of the Investigators now in this area is named Helen.  She's from Russia and the sisters knocked into her a few weeks ago.  We had a great lesson with her this week and she happily accepted the invitation to be baptized! It was especially cool because it was Sister Sheffer's first time inviting somebody to be baptized :) You can baptize in any area, people!

The weeks are flying by and they go especially fast when we work hard, which thankfully this transfer, I won't be dragging a companion along to do so.

Happy to be serving :)
~Sister Galli

This is an investigator named Thomas who we knocked into and he was great!
I believe he's on baptismal date now too :) 

S'mores in Carrollton before transfers.

The new Trio with Sis Yancey and Sis Sheffer

Solar Eclipse Day!

Bonus Pic from Sis Karren this morning!
Her grandson, Josh, is visiting and is friends with Hayden.

Monday, August 14, 2017

No Group Email Today

If you didn't get an email from Sister Galli today, you're not the only one. I was able to email back and forth with her during the day, but I'm guessing 6:00pm must have come too quickly and surprised her so she didn't get a group email sent out. So, I am going to summarize a few of the things she and I talked about today.
First of all, she was shocked to find out at transfers last week that she would be in a new trio (because of an odd number of sister missionaries) for the next 6 weeks, and she would be heading back to Kentlands, her first area. She is serving with Sister Yancey who is from Firth, ID and has been out for 10 months, and with Sister Sheffer who is from Phoenix, AZ and has only been out for two transfers (12 weeks). She said they are "greenie-breaking" her, which means she has been trained and is on her first transfer not being a trainee.
She said out of the five areas she has served in, she will end up serving in Kentlands the most. She served there for her first 4 transfers, and might possibly serve there for her last two. That would end up being half of her mission in the same area. She said it is strange to be back where she started, but she had a warm welcome back to the ward on Sunday. She was happy that most of the people remembered her, but the best part of coming back to the ward (and probably the reason she was welcomed back so kindly) was because of Mireille (the lady from Cameroon who they taught and was baptized). She said she is still very active in the church and her two kids who are in high school have gotten baptized. She also said her 20-year-old son came back from college for the summer and he got baptized, and her husband is back from Cameroon and they are teaching him. How cool for her to see the fruits of her labors - many missionaries are not given that opportunity after they leave an area.
She is optimistic about her new companions and is looking forward to being back in the Kentlands area!

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Trio Terminates

This Wednesday is Transfers again. They roll by so fast nowadays. Oh well, two more to go!
Sadly, we know that the trio will come to a sad end this week.  It has been some of the best days of my mission to be in a trio--who would have guessed? Though sidewalks definitely promote third-wheeling, the rest is great!

We've had the opportunity to teach a lot this week even though we were in the VC 4/6 days since the last p-day. We taught a young man from Cameroon this week who just lapped up the Restoration, agreeing with almost every point, and even accepting to be baptized if the Holy Spirit told him to. We also had many doorstep lessons that could certainly turn into future lessons soon. 

Carrollton is where my heart will always be and it was good to come to labor here for a few extra days.

~Sister Galli
Tracting in the rain

District Activity
P-day party ( all of the food starts with P)
Post activity, outside playing games in the rain

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Temple Day!

Today is Temple day! You all know what that means---! Limited time to email.
But to put his week simply, Thursday night, we got a call from President telling Sister Yang and I to pack our bags because the next day, Friday, she'll be in Kent Island and I'll be back in Carrollton until the end of the transfer.
So since Friday, I've had a blast being in a trio with two wonderful sisters in debatably my favorite area :)

Here's some trio Temple pictures.

Peace out

~Sister Galli

Sister Galli with Sister Rawlins and Sister Wilcox

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's a Quick One!

Quick update this week!
A past companion and I became Visitor Center Trainers which pretty much means we're just the VC director's secretaries. But we're happy to have the opportunity to serve the visitors center and the sisters there! :)

In other news, after a series of events, I will be spending almost all of the rest of the transfer in the Spanish program with some Hermanas that need some extra hands in their area.  They're baptizing like mad and so with my very broken Spanish, I'm happy to help!

Love you all!

~Sister Galli