Monday, January 30, 2017

Baptisms on the Way 🌊

Hey all! We have a busy week ahead of us because we potentially have three baptisms before next p-day (probably just two and then the third next weekend, but we'll see!)

Mother and daughter, Yeanoh and Mary from Sierra Leone πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡± are still getting baptized this Friday! (or Sunday)(there are some details that need to be worked out) Yaaaay🎊we finished going over some little things last night and now they just need to be interviewed. They are such faithful people with strong testimonies. Back in their native country, their house had bombs flying over it every day (during the war a few years ago). They felt prompted to stay put in their home and they were protected. Unfortunately, their neighbors who tried to flee were not as lucky. Their faith and devotion lead them to America and now they have found the truth and are so happy.

Patrick who from Nigeria πŸ‡³πŸ‡¬ is also so incredibly close to baptism. He was going to be baptized this Saturday, but since his wife has just recently become more interested in the Church, we thought it would be better if it was a family thing. Especially since Preach My Gospel says we should strive to teach families because they can support each other. Also, he works crazy grave hours, so we haven't been able to meet with him enough to teach him all the lessons before he can be baptized. He still wants to be baptized, it will just have to be in a little bit.

The work is so busy here. We haven't had time to tract yet this transfer.  We're gonna try to keep it that way!

Sister Vespucci and I have so much fun together. (We're working on some music videos so hopefully by next week, we'll have some finished products) Just know that at no point were the children's lives in danger.

(Here are some screen shots from their primary song jam session in the car.)

Monday, January 23, 2017

This Work is on Fire πŸ”₯

This area was covered in oil, and putting Sister Vespucci and I in it was like dropping a match.

Hey Everybody! I hope you had a great week as I know I did.

I am Loving Carrollton!

We had 5 member-present lessons last week as well as 4 other lessons which was amazing in my opinion seeing that (discluding Visitor Center) we only had 12 hours in our area.

We also had 8 investigators at church yesterday πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚πŸŽŠ That includes the 3 people that we have on baptismal date for next weekend. Our Gospel Essentials class was so full yesterday with investigators and recent converts that we had to move the class to the chapel.  #GoodProblemsToHave  Two families made up the pool of 8 investigators; the one is from Sierra Leone and the other is from Nigeria.

It's such a 180° switch from my last zone where you were happy to get one lesson a day and you were finding all the time, and now we're teaching lessons all the time and it's difficult to set aside time to find.

I may have literally fallen asleep on the floor during our dinner hour on Saturday because all of the teaching that we have been doing is exhausting, but we're on fire.

Sister Vespucci has been on her mission only one transfer less than me (So that puts her at right around 7 months out).  She's from Boston and Georgia (12 years and 6 years, respectively).  Although recently her parents have moved to Sandy, UT.  She's studying psychology at BYU and she's super smart. We're awesome together.

I love being companions with Sister Vespucci, and, by the sound of it, she feels the same. Ideally, I'd love to be companions with her for at least 3 transfers if not more, but I have only missed one transfer meeting since coming out here so who knows if that pattern will continue. But it's so much easier to be motivated to work hard when you like the person that you work with, y'know?

Keep being awesome, y'all!

~Sister Galli

Sister Galli with her new companion, Sister Vespucci (yes, she is related to Amerigo)

This picture was taken at a two mission wide conference (DC North and South)
with Elder Ballard and Elder Rasband

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I'm in Africa 🦁

It's been so long since last P-day.
So so much has happened.  And I mean so much.

Let's start chronologically.

Monday night we were teaching Maurice at the Visitors' Center and had brought along a member.  He's a convert of just a few years and has a similar situation to Maurice. Or at least that's what we thought. While it was true that they were both divorced and had 3 kids the same ages, their religious backgrounds couldn't be farther from each other.
The member liked to talk a lot and told about how before joining the church he was part of a witchcraft cult and how he knew how to summon spirits but that he wouldn't. And so Sister Barr, Maurice, and I were just sitting there kinda confused at what we were listening to. Thankfully Maurice likes us enough to know that this was not typical and we laughed it off later. During the lesson, however, we got a call from President saying that Sister Barr would be staying and I'd be leaving.  She'd be getting her best friend, Sister Bingham, and I'd be going to a new area called Carrollton and I'd be white washing (FOR THE THIRD TIME) with Sister Vespucci!  (To be honest, there's nobody I'd rather be companions with that's currently serving at the VC).  So needless to say, Sister Barr and I were both super excited.  We got along just fine but there
wasn't any of the friend aspect between us. Not a lot happened Tuesday. Just packed and went to shift in the morning.

Wednesday was transfer day and, oh boy, was it hectic.  So the day started off with the fire alarm going off on the floor where we park (mind you, not the rest of the building).  And so on floor 4 we were instructed to not use the elevators, but we lived on floor 16 and we had to make 3 trips.  So we used the elevator.  We survived just fine.
We got to the Stake Center and I don't think I've ever been to a more disorganized transfer (and I've been to quite a few).  Nobody knew where we were going, what car we were driving, or where we lived.  So. We kinda had to sit around for an hour or so to wait for somebody to give us personalized instructions.  We got those, picked up Sister Vespucci's things, played Tetris to fit two whole people's worth of stuff in one car, and drove about 40 minutes to the East.  We found our apartment (with only a few detours), unloaded all of our things, unpacked for a half hour or so, then headed to the mission office to go pick up our phone.  <insert driving about an hour to the west>
(Here's where the day goes really bad)
At the mission office, I see a page of the names and dates of all the new missionaries coming in within the next 6 months or so.  So I pull out my iPad for the first time during the day to take a picture of it and..... It has a white screen..... It tells me to choose a language.......... My iPad somehow wiped itself during the day.  Completely reset. Nothing left. Nope. Nada.
So here I am.  I've lost all my pictures, notes, everything... I'm still kinda in that state.  Sister Vespucci's dad is looking into how to restore it still. So, the only pictures I have are of those that I can download from other emails I've sent. That kinda ruined my day.  Week.  Mission.

But at least it wasn't all in vain! (I think)

We were told about a week ago that Saturday morning bright and early, we were to drive out of our mission (le gasp!) into Virginia to go to a two mission wide conference (DC North and South missions) and guess who spoke to us?  Elder Gong and Elder Bennett of the Seventy along with two other Members of the Seventy (that I cant remember their names) and Elder Rasband and Elder BALLARD from the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.  Yeah that's right.  Two apostles.  (We took a mission wide picture with them too so I'll send that out when I get it).   It was so edifying and great.  :) (Here's where I think it comes full circle.  Still deciding).  But because my iPad was completely empty, I had enough room to record the audio from all of their talks (Which ended up being around 25 GB because I had to record it as a black video).  So I'm hoping that that's the reason why my iPad reset itself.  Everything happens for a reason, right?

Sunday.  We got to Church to discuss with the Elders how to split the area and transfer investigators.  We were asked a few days before to each take no more than 5 minutes in Sacrament Meeting to introduce ourselves, share missionary experiences, and share a brief spiritual thought.  (There was apparently a celebration when the ward members heard that they were getting sisters again).  So we're in the foyer and hear them starting to begin the meeting so we quickly pack up our things and go into the chapel to sit on the stand and there's about as many people on the stand are there are in the audience.... itty bitty ward. Luckily by the time that the Sacrament was passed, there were about 70 people in the congregation and by the end of the meeting there were around 100.  That's including kids.  So. Coming from two massive wards that have 300-400 active members every week to a tiny ward of 100 active members is a drastic change.  Also, Sister Vespucci and I might have been maybe 2 of 10 white women there.  This ward is incredibly diverse with most of the members being first generation African emigrants.  (So I literally feel like I'm in Africa).  Our area is also super poor with a ton of government subsidized housing.  "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth"  = means a lot of fertile ground here for people ready to change their lives and come closer to Christ by being baptized.  I'm super excited for this area. (I'm also starting to wonder if I'll ever teach a white American on my mission because so far it's been only black people, immigrants, or both).

Anyway, I'm loving life, enjoying being with my new companion (sometimes too much probably), and happy to be serving the Lord!

'Til next week! (when I'll hopefully have some pictures)

~Sister Galli

Monday, January 9, 2017

Snowed In! ⛄️

Hey one and all!
It finally started to look like winter this week!
This week, the kids got a snow day for snow dust on the cars.  None stuck to the roads. It was literally just dust.  You wouldn't have even noticed it if you didn't know to look for it.  People here are insane.
On Saturday it snowed 1-2 inches and people freaked out.  We were told to not go outside after 2 or so, not because all the Utahans and Idahoans don't know how to drive in snow, but because everyone else here has no idea what they're doing and they're dangerous.
So that was an adventure.
Temperatures have also started to consistently stay below freezing so it feels more like home.  So far, I personally haven't felt a difference in temperatures (east coast cold vs Utah cold).  But we still have all of January to go!
We went tracting for one of the first times this transfer and Sister Barr prayed for a miracle and 22 doors later, we did indeed get a miracle!  An older lady named Mandy opened up and let us in and let us share our message! Personally, it's the first and only time thus far that I've been let in to somebody's home and shared a brief message with them.  And I've knocked a lot of doors.  Her story mainly came down to that with a recent loss in her family of a dear pet and other circumstances in her life, this particular day is exactly when she needed to be found.  She admitted to us and to her friend the next day that divine intervention was definitely at play.  We haven't had time for our schedules to line up again where we can meet again, but she said she wanted to learn more.
Miracles happen, people! 
They don't have to be defying the laws of physics to be called miracles.
On Sunday, Maurice and his 3 kids came to church for Sacrament Meeting.  The 14 year old boy made a comment afterwards that really struck me.  When asked how he liked the service, he said, "it was different, but familiar."  Of course it was familiar to you! We all lived with our Heavenly Father before this life and going to a church service in His Church would definitely be familiar to your spirit.
Today we had a party at the mission home with all the sisters in the mission because of all our hard work during Festival.  Sister Shin worked all morning to provide us all with a Korean BBQ lunch and dessert.  It was fun to see everybody there and hang out.

That pretty much describes my week!
Transfers are on Wednesday and I personally suspect that I will be getting companion number 6!

Be safe now!
~Sister Galli

All of the sister missionaries
 at the mission home with the mission president and his wife 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Festival! ❄️Week 5: IT'S OVER

Comp video today
Super fun week. Not much happened, just a lot of work and a lot of
random pics.
Enjoy! ~πŸ’œ

The entire mission group
December 25, 2016
It snowed for 20 minutes and then melted.
Trying to stay warm - blanket style.
A few of the sisters with Maurice

Kentlands District

District activity - bowling
Hannah said she didn't have a good game and blames it on wearing a skirt.