Monday, August 24, 2015

SouthSIDE Week 5 - I Love Southside

I love southside. 

This week was wild:
- Sister H got really sick one night, and then I got sick and had some really bad allergy stuff while we were cleaning someones house.
- Our car broke down. And then fixed itself...

- And we won't have a car this week because we have to take it to the shop. So we're going to get our walk on. #TrekStatus 

- Last Monday we had a bonfire at our ward mission leader's house with the other elders in our ward. It was a ton of fun! They fed us burgers and cheesecake. 

- Hahaha and we ran out of toilet paper this week but weren't able to go to the store until Saturday, so we used gauze out of our first-aid kits. 

- Saw my second weave.
 (it's a weave, not roadkill)

Friday we had a sister's conference in Wilmette, where the mission office is. It was really uplifting and I got to see the sisters that came in with me! Sister D is one of my faves. She went to BYU-Idaho too. A lot of the sisters here went to BYU-Idaho. Represent. 

-The zone leaders picked up all our packages this week too! Thank you so much mooom! I made eggs and put Heinz 57 on it. Hahaha. I haven't made corn nachos yet though! Or corn-yaki. 

- Last night we also found out that we put an investigator's number in wrong. So the past couple weeks that we've been calling we thought she had dropped us. Then we got her real number and was able to schedule our second lesson with her for today! I'm so excited!

This coming week is transfer calls. We will find out if sister H is leaving, or if sister H stays! 
really want her to stay. 😭😭

The Book of Mormon is the best. It's one of the number one things we try to get investigators to do: read the Book of Mormon. There is a real, special spirit that comes from reading it. I invite all of you to pick it up once a day (or more!) and study. It's an act of faith that blesses us and fills our lives with peace. Daily scripture study is so powerful! 

I am continually learning that missionary work is about loving these people and loving God, and then doing my best. 
A quote that has been pulling me through the tough, awkward, and silent moments of missionary work is this: 
"You reach as far as you can, and Heaven will help you do what you can't do, or don't know how to do yet." - Sister Edmonds, {MTC Sunday Relief Society Devotional, 7/19/15} 
That sentence comes to mind whenever I feel like giving up. 
I know that this is His work and He will help us as we strive to keep going and to keep 'reaching'. 

Sister Gallegos 

Monday, August 17, 2015

SouthSIDE Week 4... I Don't Know What Week It Is!

This past week has FLOWN by! I feel like Monday was yesterday. Thanks for the notes and pictures throughout the week. I loved them...

We met with a lot of members this week and we also found three new investigators. They were all sitting outside on the steps, and we walked up to them and ended up talking to them for an hour. They were asking really great questions, especially one of them who led the conversation. He asked questions like, "How do I know if the Book of Mormon is true? What happens if you make major mistakes or sins? Do you believe we have a purpose in life?" 
Sister House and I looked at each other and were like:

We got you.
We exchanged contact information and left each of them with a Book of Mormon. AND THEN we talked and testified about the importance of praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true. We encouraged the quieter one of the group to say the closing prayer. He was really nervous, but we taught him how to pray and he did it. And then the other two guys said they wanted to try it too. 

We committed them to reading the first chapter, to pay attention to what they feel as they read, and to pray to know if it's true. 

We are meeting with them again this week. I'm hoping and praying it will go well. 
We have been struggling with finding people to teach, and struggling with getting people to progress, but It is all good. We are working hard and seeing miracles. 

Something about Southside Chicago is that you see a LOT of poverty. Part of our area is in the projects, and heavy ghetto surrounds it. The other half of our area is nice, but we do a lot of finding and work in the ghetto. You see a lot of real-world problems that you hear about or see on TV, but never really face. I have grown to love all these people so it's difficult to hear about what they're going through. Through it all, they still choose to have faith. 

 I wish I could help them and I wish I could take away their problems, but I've been learning that that's not what it's about. The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not take away our problems, but gives us hope. Faith in Jesus Christ sustains us.

I've been learning a lot more about the love that Heavenly Father has for His children here than I have anywhere else.
He LOVES these people, His Children, and He wants them to have hope.

Sister H and I have felt that love and concern as we've been prompted to tell people that we know they're not alone and that God hears their prayers and He is aware of them.
I am grateful that God is allowing me to have these experiences, because even though it's difficult and exhausting to be a missionary, it is rewarding, and I've been blessed to meet some of the sweetest and strongest people. 

Jesus Christ lives, and I know that if we have faith in Him, we can find hope and strength to get through our daily and life-long struggles. 
I would invite all of you to uplift, comfort, listen to, or just give a hug to someone this week. God really does use us to help comfort one another if we listen to our promptings and act on them. I'm really seeing that. 

Love you all! 
- Sister Gallegos

Monday, August 10, 2015

Southside Week 3 - Fried Chicken!

This week was crazy. It went by fast and then Friday and Saturday felt like foreeeeever. We got a mini missionary! Her name is Lupe Quezada. A mini missionary is someone who comes out on what they call a 'Mini Mission'. They come with us and live the schedule and do everything we do. I hadn't ever really heard of them in Oregon. But she was with us from Thursday afternoon to Sunday. She knew like two of the people we went to visit and was able to relate and help our investigators resolve their concerns. It was sad to see her go. 

Sunday was AWESOME. Bill, our investigator, and two in-actives CAME. I just love our ward. They're a group of humble/funny people and I love them. We are working on getting to know them better and working on them getting to love each other! 

Mr. B is my favorite. I love him so much. He's this sweet 93 year old black man. He's hilarious and so adorable. He was wearing this beige/tan suit outfit on Sunday. It was so precious. He tries to hug us, hahaha, but we just tell him no and shake his hand. He looks like Little Bill in that cartoon show I watched when I was younger. 

The top two religions that people are a part of out here is Baptist and Catholic. One woman we do service for is a reverend for the baptist church she goes to. She's in her 90's and is so great. Anyways she invited us to come to her birthday lunch. It was in a really sketchy only-elders area. The best part was that we were seated next to the bishop of one of the congregations in their baptist church and when our lunch was served (fried chicken),(Literally everyone got their own whole fried chicken), he gave the blessing. I would describe that prayer as a mix between yelling, chanting, "the gift of tongues", and hand-thrust motions. It was great. 

We got a couple potential investigators this week, but we might have to pass them off the to YSA sisters, but it was still exciting. 

We are starting to do a lot of finding because we need people to teach and serve. 
I was thinking about the two things that I've been learning over and over again the past month or so, at the MTC and in the field. 
1. God is real.
2. He loves us. 

These two things keep me going every day. I know that God is real, and I know that He loves us. He really is so kind and merciful. I am forever grateful for Him and this opportunity that He's giving me to represent Him. He's helping me to overcome my weaknesses and love everyone around me. 

Also we ran into this Spanish-speaking family the other day, and the dad was like, "you want some Mexican pop?" It was Bud Lite. Hahahaa, it was hilarious. #Southside

Love always,
Sister Gallegos 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Southside Week 2

This week zoomed by. Its a really weird time warp. This week we mainly
focused on meeting with members from the ward. It was great getting to
know them and serving them. When we visited sister Ml we gutted
some fresh catfish. And I mean fresh. One of them was still wigglin'
around as I killed it. We wore black garbage bags to protect ourselves
from catfish juice. Thankfully I couldn't smell anything
#TenderMercies. It was really fun.

We also got to take care of a member's rabbit this week while they
were on vacation. Sister H was in love with him. His name is

We also taught this 93 year old black man. He's adorable. We got him
to say a personal prayer too! Which was great. He's only ever done the
'Lord's Prayer' so we did it primary style and he repeated after me.

We are trying to help our ward become a ward family because they don't
really interact with one another! Fellow-shipping and ward families
are so important. I'd invite all of you to find someone you don't know
This Sunday and be their friend! It goes a long way.

An experience that stuck out to me from this past week:

A brother from our ward invited Sister H and I over to visit his
parents yesterday. They're not members, and they mainly speak Spanish
so we didn't know what to expect. We walked into his parents house and
he translated for us as we shared the "He Lives" video. As Sister
H and brother E were talking, the Spirit kept telling me to
bear my testimony in Spanish. These two sentences kept coming to mind
that I knew in Spanish. I was hesitant, but the Spirit kept prompting
me to open my mouth. So I told brother E that I could share a
very small testimony to his parents in Spanish if that was alright
with him! He was very excited and encouraged me to do so. His mom
turned towards me and we locked eyes and then I took a deep breathe
and said, "Yo se que Jesucristo vive, y yo se que Jesucristo es mi
Salvador." The Spirit was strong. It was the highlight of my week.

It helped me to realize more of my purpose. It's been a little tough
this week. It's sometimes difficult to not get pulled into the mindset
of baptisms=success. But the Lord has helped me to better understand
my calling as His disciple. My purpose is to invite and help others to
come unto Christ-And if I all I do for the next 18 months is serve and
do my best to testify and represent Jesus Christ by loving the people
here, even if they don't accept or want to hear about Him, then it's
been well worth it! I know that He lives and that He loves us all, and
it's an honor to serve the people here and it's an honor to serve Him.
There were many who never accepted Him while He was here, and He loved
and served them anyway. I want to work hard and love these people. I
want to be the missionary that God wants me to be.

I love you all! Thank you for your support.
-Sister Gallegos