Monday, May 29, 2017

Just Believe Christ!

Not too much to report this week.  We met with recent converts, investigators, and did a lot of tracting.  I was also able to spend a lot of time helping others in the VC, from teaching non-members who had never seen the temple before, to sending a dozen referrals online, and from helping an hermana with her study of the Book of Mormon, to fixing a new sister's tablet.  But nothing too exciting or funny, so I'll just talk about the Gospel because the mission makes it so you can do that for hours.

I begin my spiritual thought with a quote found in an Ensign Article given in April 1992 by  Stephen E. Robinson:
"One of the most terrifying dilemmas in the universe consists of two facts. The first is expressed in Doctrine and Covenants 1:31: “I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” That means he can’t tolerate it. He can’t blink or look the other way. The other fact is very simply put: We all sin. If the equation consisted of only those two facts, the conclusion would be inescapable: As sinful beings, we can never enter God’s presence. But that is not all there is. There is the atonement of Jesus Christ—that glorious plan by which this dilemma can be resolved. And the amazing thing is that the Atonement works in practical ways."
One of the differences between conversion and a testimony comes down to the application of our knowledge.

You can believe in Christ as much as you want, but true power and true conversion comes when you stop and take a minute to just believe Christ.  Believe that when He says He can make your burdens light, He will.  Believe that when He forgives all who repent, that includes you.  Believe that when He promises blessings, they can in all reality be ours.
In the eyes of God, we are mere children--toddlers stumbling through life.  But just like any loving parent, Heavenly Father is so excited when we make efforts to talk to Him, to walk after His Son, and to strive to be better every day.

Elder Holland said it best in April 2012 when he said,
"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable [of the laborers], but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."

But Christ does not eliminate our personal responsibility. Stephen E. Robinson continues,
"We all fail at living the full celestial level. That’s why we need a Savior. The Lord says, 'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.' (Matt. 5:6.) We frequently misinterpret that verse. We think it means 'Blessed are the righteous.' It does not. When are you hungry? When are you thirsty? When you don’t have the object of your desire. It is those who don’t have the righteousness that God has—but who hunger and thirst after it—who are blessed, for if that is the desire of their hearts, the Lord will help them achieve it."

If righteousness is something we have to achieve, then we also have to put in the necessary effort.
"With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed." --Elder Holland April 2016

I would like to end my soap-box-ing with a quote from President Hinckley from April 1995, "May we go with determination to try a little harder to be a little better."

~Sister Galli

Car selfie with Sister Yang

We had exchanges! I had the chance once again to be with Sister Escobar, my MTC companion.
Video: City driving

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sister Galli Goes to China!

This week marks my 8th companion, 5th area, and 4th zone! All in one year :)

For this next transfer I'll be in Gaithersburg with Sister Yang! (Say the "a" like you would in "water") She's from Mainland China and has been out two transfers, so I'm what's called "greenie breaking", which I have done once before. This transfer is sadly not a complete white wash. I had a good streak going. But we did take over another area in our ward, so it is 1/2 whitewashing.

I'm happy to be back at the VC. Something is different now, however. Instead of each companionship going in every day for half of the day, we all go in every other day for the entire day.  It will take some getting used to, but it will save us a ton of driving time and will get us more time in our proselyting area.

I'm still trying to adjust to my new area, so I don't have too much in the way of pictures or more to say, but just know, that I'm slowly turning Asian again. Today I bought seaweed, rice, and lychee from a Korean market Sister Yang likes. Time to break out the chopsticks!

~Sister Galli

Monday, May 15, 2017

Last Week in Ft Meade!

I'm using the excuse that yesterday I Skyped home with my family to not write as much today.
Happy Transfers!
This week I will be happily going back to the VC!  Don't get me wrong, I love this area and this companionship and this apartment, but the VC is my home and I'm happy to be going home :) I won't know until this evening where within the VC I'll be going though.  Maybe a 5th White Wash for me? ;)
This week, we've been mostly tracting and street-contacting without finding much while Mario is in Cancún.  But when did anything worth-while come easy?
Sunday night we had a near-miss with death.  Sister Hadley is allergic to chocolate (sad, we know) but for Mother's Day, the relief society provided us all with cheesecake.  Sister Hadley reeeeally wanted a slice that had raspberry drizzle and little flecks of chocolate on it, and, though I warned her, she decided to take it and scrape off the pieces of chocolate.  But apparently she didn't get them all.  (She's denying it right now.) Thankfully this incident only required us being home for an hour or so and not an ER visit like last transfer, but that's still probably the most exciting story for the week.

I hope my lack of words can be made up with pictures!

'Til Next Week!
~Sister Galli

One of the bays in Annapolis

20th birthday celebration

We had a family history workshop, and a member made these cookies.
Mother's Day Skype (Hannah's view)

Mother's Day Skype (family's view)

Grandma and Grandpa stopped by to take a family picture for us (below👇🏼)

Happy family

There is a neighborhood in their area that has street names from Lord of the Rings. It's not clear in this video, but they must have found one named Mordor Street or something similar, because they created this video.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Up to Our Elbows in Cleaning Supplies 💪🏼

My apologies for two slow weeks in a row :\ (I got sick if that's exciting news for anyone...?)

This week our efforts were primarily spent in the act of finding--knocking doors and talking to people on the street. We heard through a few different sources that we white-washed this area because the previous sisters (not sure how far back it includes) had a hard time finding new investigators to teach because they'd spend a large amount of their time at members' homes instead.  To which I can hardly blame them because this area has some of the best members I've ever met in a ward I've served in, but it's about remembering our purpose as missionaries, too.  So we're putting our right feet forward and doing the hard thing, like knocking those doors.

We spent quite a few hours this week doing service for some of our investigators.  One is sadly moving to Hawaii and needed help finishing cleaning up their house before the landlords come to inspect it.  Since I'm going back to the VC soon, we'll rely on our online teaching center (TC) to stay in touch with her and make sure missionaries in Hawaii get to her! #ModernMissionaryWork 

The other investigator family we spent a lot of time serving was rotating three rooms in their home.  The girl got moved to the boy's room, the boy got moved to the spare room, and the spare got moved to the girl's room.  All so that the baby could be moved out of the parent's room and in with the spare room.  Complicated much?  But it was nice to help them out (as well as it was nice to work in jeans for a few hours).

I have a strong testimony of service and the power it has to soften people's hearts.  The Savior Himself went about doing good and serving all those He came in contact with, and just like Him, we are able to see miracles too when we forget ourselves and serve others with no ulterior motives.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms!

~Sister Galli

We had exchanges this week, so that was a blast!
This picture brought to you by: crappy parking garage lighting

Monday, May 1, 2017

6 Months Left! 😱

Today marks my '6 months left' mark.  How did this happen?  I'm still so new and have no idea what I'm doing, yet the end is within the seeable future.  That's bizarre.  For those of you on missions or will go on missions, don't waste a second of it.  From the outside, a mission looks super long, but on the inside, a mission is incredibly short!
Panicked rant aside,

Hey Everyone!
This week was kind of a slow week.  We tracted a lot, and summer appears to be here already; this week we had two days in the 90s.  The winter was mild, so the summer will be rough, or so it seems. As for investigators, here's the scoop.
Mario was out of town this week and will be until this Wednesday so his progress has been put on hold.
But our miracle investigator happened this week and has been in the works for a while.  Our first week here, the gospel essential's teacher asked us after class if we had a guy named Adrian in our area book.  We searched it and saw that he was there but had been dropped in January due to the other sisters being unable to get in contact with him.   However, Adrian's teaching record was almost completely full (they'd taught him almost everything) and he was even on date to be baptized.  But he just fell off the face of the earth.  So we reached out to him and asked when a good time to come over and meet him would be.  At first he was difficult, so we decided we'd wait a week or so and try again. In the space of this time, Sister Spencer (the Senior sister that's over the Army Post for Military Relations) ran into a guy at the gas station and told him, "It's no coincidence when you run into a Mormon missionary."  The man seemed pretty startled at this... because it was Adrian.  On Tuesday, we were finally able to meet him and on Saturday we went back and he showed us two of his snakes, a ball python and a hog nose.  And he came to church on Sunday too! While we were at his home, without us even mentioning it, he mentioned that he'll probably get baptized soon, too.  So I have high hopes for him :)

Other than that, it's really been a slow week.  We're continuing to gut our area book and remove all the uninterested people from it #WhiteWashingProbs. So that's taking up a lot of our time.

But all is well on the Eastern Front.
Keep on Keepin' on and do it more effectively! -Elder Oaks

~Sister Galli

Nerds named these streets

Ball python

I think this is wisteria. It's pretty and grows on a lot of the trees here.