Monday, January 25, 2016

ROLLERCOASTER - Jesus Take the Wheel!

This week was a ROLLERCOASTER. Like, one of those weeks where there's so much jam-packed into it that you don't remember what's happened.


SO, I'll start with Monday. It was PDAY- you know, the usual. BUT, that night we had dinner and FHE with the Kurihara family. They asked me where I was from, and when I told them they asked me if I knew the Mossman's!! And I was like, WHAAAAT?? They're good friends with them. So that's how I found out Mckenzie got engaged. (I find out the craziest stuff out here...)

Can't remember what happened on Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY was buuuuusy. We went and saw the worldwide missionary broadcast at a stake center. It was titled "Teach Repentance and baptize converts." It was so DEEP. I loved it and it made me so happy. Then we rushed off to a pass-off lesson with R. It was so good. I could just FEEL God's love for her. She's so ready and prepared to hear the gospel. We might be teaching her again, or she might start attending this ward...we don't really know what's going to happen or what's going on, but Heavenly Father is going to take care of it. :))

We also had a great lesson with K on the restoration. I felt the Spirit so strong as I bore my testimony of Joseph Smith and the first vision.

Thursday we had interviews with president Woodbury! It was GREAT. I love him. He's the best.
Friday I got really sick and slept for most of the afternoon after I got some medicine. Then we left the house for our dinner appointment and did a couple stop-by's after that. It was AWESOME. I hate being shut up in the apartment. I just want to go out and talk to people about Jesus. It made me so happy, but I know Heavenly Father cleared our schedule so that I could have time to put my head down. My sinus stuff is still going on. It's a little crazy, but life is good.
Saturday was really hard. One of the hardest days I've had in a really long time. But it's interesting because I noticed that on those especially hard days, I feel closer to the spirit and He's able to manifest His love for me more.

We kept doing the work though and tracted and contacted for a while.
While we were tracting, this guy opened his door and was really rude to us. He made me feel like such an idiot and I stood there smiling as he told me to hurry up and was trying to confuse me and make me stumble over my words. But as we were walking away, the Spirit told me to pray for him. My first reaction was, "no, it's chill. I'm fine."
And then the feeling came again. I prayed very sincerely for that man in my heart that Heavenly Father would answer his prayers and bless him to feel His love in some way or another. It softened and healed my soul. And at the next door we knocked on, a really nice lady answered and talked to us for a moment. Even though she wasn't really interested, she still treated us like human-beings.
I got through the day and I know it was through the Atonement that I was able to do so.

Yesterday we were at the church for 12 hours because we had so many meetings and a fireside...
Yay. It was a tough day. But Jesus took the wheel. Also sister Str came up for the fireside! So it was like a mini reunion. It was so great. And today we're in the city with her, sister Pk, and sister Pt! Yaaaay.

Something that's been on my mind this week is a conversation sister Pg and I had at lunch on Saturday. We were asking each other questions from a list, and one of them was, "what lesson have you learned this past year?" It came really clearly to my mind: Heavenly Father will always provide a Way!

ALL of 2015 was Heavenly Father providing a way for me. He helped me to be able to submit my papers in a short amount of time. He helped me to work at the nursery. He helped me to wait until I got my call. He helped me to get through my first day at the MTC (aka-one of the most overwhelming days of my life). And my first day in Chicago. (also one of the most overwhelming days of my life). And every day on my mission since then. He's always provided a way for me to get through the hard times. Whether it was another missionary, my companion, a member, someone we talked to on the street, etc. He has always provided a way for me to get through. And it's been so humbling to look back and realize that. He's always been there for me, even in the moments I didn't think He was or I didn't realize. I know that's true for all of us and I've seen that more clearly out here. God truly loves His children, and He will always provide a way for us. That's why He sent His son.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I know that this is where I need to be. I know that this is what I need to be doing at this exact moment in my life. It's one of the best things Heavenly Father has ever helped me to do. I don't want it to end.

I haven't always had that perspective, especially as a new missionary, but after I've really given my heart to this work, I just Love it.

This week is going to be SO great!! I can't believe it's already half way through the transfer.... So cray.

Anyways:

Quotes of the week.

"You know how the things you love the most, can also hurt you the most?....well my hot pocket burned my tongue" - Sister Pg

"I'm not trying to get fresh with you, ok?"

"Overbearance  is boldness without love."

"Yes-we are all different, like snowflakes."


Love,
Sister Gallegos

Monday, January 18, 2016

It's Cold and Thor's Hammer of Repentance!

Familia!

Monday night it got REAL cold and we were slipping and sliding all over the road so we decided to come back early. (#AlmostGotInACarAccident #ButWeDidnt) 
I have the youth Face-to-Face events downloaded on my iPad, so we watched the one with elder and sister Bednar. 
"The Natural Man wants to stay the same. The man or woman of Christ presses forward and is continually changing." - Elder Bednar 
That quote hit me so powerfully. It changed my perspective and has been motivating me to keep trying and to keep "pressing forward". To keep praying for a desire to change! 

This Thursday was zone teaching/conference so the buffalo grove east and west zone got together to be addressed by president Woodbury and the zone leaders. It was AWESOME. President threw down Thor's hammer of repentance. I loved it. We talked about how we are the stripling warriors. We also talked about the new mission president that will be coming July 1st! Also our mission is getting shrunk. Over the next few transfers it'll be going down from 180 to 140 missionaries. He's really stressing exact obedience so that our new president, (president Bingham) can receive a small band of "stripling" missionaries that are exactly obedient! 


Yesterday a hazard warning level 2 was issued due to how cold it is. :) 5 is the worst and 1 is the least. -25 windchill! πŸ˜–❄πŸ’¨
Today is -20 windchill and was -2 degrees this morning. Yaaaaay! 

Onto MIRACLES of the Week: 
- "R": I love her so much! We went to McDonald's in the afternoon hoping to find someone who would be interested in taking about Jesus. (Life story). So Sister Pl and Sister Pk had given "R" a card once and she had seen them a lot before because missionaries spend a lot of time contacting at McDonald's. ANYWAYS. Tuesday we go in and use the wifi. It was near lunch time and I could smell the fries and the McChickens. So I had a good feeling about getting some to take home for lunch. I go up and "R" takes my order. When my order comes up I thank her and turn to walk away when she calls me back. "May I ask you a question?" I'm like..... πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜§!! Of course! She asks me about the church and what I do as a missionary. I answer her questions and then invite her to learn more and she said yes!! She said she has been wanting to go back to church. So we exchange information and set up an appointment for the next day an hour before she goes into work. Sister Pt comes with us 'cause she's a boss member missionary. We all meet at McDonald's the next day and have a lesson on the plan of salvation. It was really touching because I could feel how much God loves her. AND she's from Southside! And she lived in our area until she moved in August. (What??. πŸ˜―😯) So we bonded over the weave shops and how up north is a LOT different. She also expressed that when she saw me on Tuesday she felt very drawn to me and said she felt compelled to ask me about the church. It was one of the most tender things and meant so much to me. Anyways, sister Pt volunteers to drive "R" to church and invites to hear her speak in church because she would be giving a talk THAT Sunday! Can I just give a shoutout to sister Pt right now? She's AMAZING. And her talk on the Atonement was amazing!  So "R" came to church. She and I sat by each other during sacrament meeting and I was explaining things, and then the sacrament comes around. She took it and said that she felt better and cleaner inside. Sister Pt was her buddy around church and loves her just as much as we do. "R" is so ready, and is so willing to do this. I feel so connected to her. Here's the hard part: She lives out of our area. So we have to pass her off to the other sisters. It's really difficult for me, but the Spirit told me that everything was going to be ok. As long as "R"gets to be taught the Gospel, it doesn't matters who's teaching her. After church she even stayed for an 8 year old's baptism. It was so sweet. This coming Wednesday we are having a pass-off lesson at sister Pt's house where the other sisters will come and we will introduce her to them. Sister T and G are awesome. They'll be great for her! 

K: So "K" is our new investigator that was passed over to us from the other sisters! We had a good pass off lesson and he came to church on Sunday. He has very interesting quirks and personality traits. He's like 45 and lives by himself. But, he loves Jesus and was led to the sisters at McDonald's. Anyways, we have another lesson with him this week and are trying to get him into another member's home for the lesson. I know that God loves him. So it's a blessing and a privilege that we get to tell him about the restored gospel. 

Quotes of the week:
- "If Heavenly Father was a dog, He would be a Pyrenees." 
- "She needs to sow her oats." 
- "There was temptations all up around me and I was like O Lord Jesus take the wheel!" 
- "I just need a needle full of fast-acting allergy serum." ..... "I have an epi pen.." 
- "You can plant seeds through food."
At our Ward Mission leaders home,  he and his family are the BEST. 

I hope everyone has a great week. I love being a missionary and I love being able to come closer to my Heavenly Father. He helps me to get through every single day. I know that missionary work and the Lord bring true and lasting happiness. It fills every void we may be feeling in life. I know this church is true! 

Love,
Sister Gallegos

Monday, January 11, 2016

Yeah! Northside! - Baby It's Cold Outside

Dear Familia,

This week was da BEST. Sister P and I were instant BFF's. We laugh so much every day and have fun together while we work. This week has been feeling like bliss! #GPlom #CompName

She's from San Francisco and has one little sister. She went to BYU-Hawaii for a year before coming out and is one transfer behind me. She's so great and such a great example to me. Fun fact: she's allergic to cinnamon so she had to teach me how to stab her leg with an epi pen. We also have a heck ton in common. Such as a love for Anne of Green Gables and the little house on the prairie books. She also loves the office. And Gilmore girls. And is SO funny. I love her! She's so full of love. 



I also love the area. It's BEAUTIFUL. A lot of trees and sky and a LOT of big, BIG houses. Haha we pulled up to one house and it looked like Frankenstein's castle or something. We climbed up the long stairway covered in snow to the little door and a Romanian woman answered. Haha. 
The members here are great! They love the missionaries SO much. And they feed us a lot. #Blessings. 
Some things about the area:

  • Everyone has a dog. And most of the time they're the size of bears. (One member literally has a dog named Bear) 
  • There are TONS of Jewish people here! 
  • Fanciest McDonalds' I've ever seen. (One had a fireplace and two levels?)
  • Fanciest old women I've ever seen. They'll be strutting into McDonald's. They're like 70+ and wearing high-heeled leather boots and skinny jeans. I love it. I want to be their best friend. 

Apparently the Vice President of Walgreens lives here. And the person who invented Siri. And a lot of other company headquarters are here... πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ 



This week we did a lot of stop-by's and a LOT of tracting. So many funny things have happened and been said to us this week.  Some highlights included: 

"The Holy Spirit told me to get you chorizo." 
"He(Jesus) doesn't play a role in our lives. We're Jewish." 
"What would your patronus be?..." - "A pair of on fleek eyebrows..."
"This jalapeΓ±o popper reminds me of cheesecake." 
"We have sinned. We ate too much." 
"Mennonites and Mormons are kindred." 
"What's your favorite material?"

Some other highlights for me this week were;
  • sister Pt - (She fed us jalapeΓ±o poppers when we stopped by one night. She is SO funny and made us feel right at home!)
  • M, G and B - (they force fed us delicious food. They're both from Ghana and have the CUTEST baby. They made us feel so at home and welcome! I LOVE THEM) 
  • A - (we met her when we were tracting and she talked to us for like 10 minutes. It was such a tender mercy! We left her with a card and our phone number. She's so great.) 
  • Being with Sister P ('nuff said)
  • Getting attacked by a bear-dog. (Yep. This massive dog-animal-beast ran out of one of these mansion buildings and it was toooo friendly.) 
  • The O's (they just moved into the ward last Monday so we stopped by to get to know them. They invited us in and talked to us for like an hour. They moved from Minnesota to be closer to work. They're this adorable old sassy couple. They told us their conversion story. It was awesome. :)) (and he kept saying cotton-picking.... Like "it's so cotton-picking cold!" Or, "it's so cotton-picking easy!" He's a crack-up) 



I LOVE WORKING. And I love working with sister P. We keep each other's spirits up and have fun! Even after the 40th house or person isn't interested. Tracting just feels good and makes you feel like a missionary! It's the best.

I want to give Heavenly Father my all. I'm here because I love Him. It's so refining and refreshing. I love being a missionary! 

Yesterday we were asked to talk to the young women during the 3rd hour about life and what brings us true happiness. It made me think about how Young Women's and school just flew by for me. 4 years ago I never could've foreseen where I am now. Even one year ago I had no idea how I was going to get out on a mission! But God always prepares a way for us, and when we have faith and work hard, He provides miracles. 

Will y'all please do me a favor?
 *Love your missionaries!*
This 18month/(2yr) journey is so tough. As sister Plomgren said recently, on your mission you experience the "lowest of lows". And when you let the missionaries into your homes and let them share a message with you, or you go with them to a friend or co-worker who might be interested in the gospel, or feed them, or just let them feel welcome, loved, and at home, you're answering prayers. Prayers of the missionaries, and prayers from their families. We just need love, support, and encouragement. 
Invite them over. Get to know them. Go out to lessons with them...

Anyways, I feel so blessed to be here. God is good. He has given me everything. I can't give all that He gave, but I can give my own humble offering as His servant and disciple. 
I love Heavenly Father and our Savior with all my heart. I know that they love us. They are infinitely merciful and forgiving. They never forget us. 
The church is true and families are forever. ❤

PS- it's SO cold! Single digits with -15 degree wind chill. Also this week there were like two snow storms. And this morning was 1 degree. :). #YayNorthSide ... 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Jan. 4 - Miracles and Changes!!

Miracle moment of the week: 

So remember in November when I was sick a lot? Well I began to get headaches and coughs and earaches from it. We figured it was a sinus infection. When we went up to Wilmette for a meeting, we talked to the mission nurse who sent me the info for a walk-in clinic in our area. Three weeks later on the last day before transfer calls I finally decided to go/the Spirit kept telling me to just do it. (So, this past Friday). We go in, everything's good and we meet with the clinic person. Her name's"H-L" and so full of LIGHT! She's from Korea and has been living in Chicago for the past 15 years. She asked what we do as missionaries and why we are here. We talked about her faith (Christian) and about a couple experiences she's had with prayer, and then we gave her a pass-along card. She said she was going to look up the video that instant. (SHE'S SO AWESOME) she was so open to the gospel and kept asking us questions! 
We asked if she lived in the area and she said that she had just come to this clinic for that day because she and her husband were staying at her mom's for the weekend. Her clinic is up north in buffalo grove. Which brings me to transfer news...

TRANSFER 5 will be up north in Buffalo Grove 1st!! AHHH! I'll be with Sister P who was trained by my MTC companion Sister Parke. Sister Polmgren's so chill! I'm so excited!! 
Elder Storey, who's in our district right now, came from BG and loved it! He said that we get fed every night, but .... that we have to be really creative with trying to find people to teach. From what I hear it is like unto Glencoe ward. In regards to the missionaries being fed every night and a sign-up calendar being passed around. It will be a great adjustment! :)))) 

On the downside I will miss Morgan Park and my baby, Sister H! πŸ˜­πŸ˜­ I love these people so much that it's feels super tough to leave. It feels like home! I also love and adore my companion, and we've been through so much together that it's one of the hardest things to leave her! #BFFs But she's getting a super sweet and diligent companion that will be really good for her and a really great example! Hahaha Sister Haynes and I had a LOT of fun, probably a little too much fun, so it will be good to be with people that will help us to work hard and give this our all! 



Also, 40 missionaries left this transfer, AKA - 20 companionship's, so they've shut down a lot of areas and the entire mission is changing around. Now Morgan park will only have two sets of missionaries rather than 3. And the district will consist of 3 companionship's. 2 sets of sisters and 1 set of elders. Hahaha, they jokingly called it a 'relief society' district. πŸ˜‚

Anyways, sister Haynes and I are convinced that "H-L" is golden and is going to get baptized and sealed in the Temple with her fam. We gon find her. (Like the bed intruder song. "We gon fiiiind you"!) 

This past Thursday sister H and I each met with President. At the end of our interview/meeting, we talked about transfers. I told him I was nervous (I knew I'd be going!) and he just said some really inspired things that I needed to hear. He said that this transfer would be a fresh start for me; that I'd be able to jump in and give it all that I have. That I'd love the area, and that it would be a blessing to me. 

All transfer I've had this really great feeling about my next area and that it would be a big turning point in my mission and life. 

I am SO excited. 

I just love the Atonement so much and that we can have a fresh start, another chance, and a clean slate at any moment that we humble ourselves and turn back to Christ. He is so kind and merciful! 

I'll miss the ghetto and the blue lights on every streetlamp. I'll miss the weaves in the road and the chitlins, fried chicken, dressing, mac&cheese, and collared greens. (I won't really miss chitlins. At all.) I'll miss all the attitude and sass. I'll miss the crazy bus drivers and potholes. I'll miss the sketchiness and blatant drug deals. I'll miss the creepy old guys at Walmart that hit on us. I'll miss the constant smell of weed and sewer. I'll miss that whenever you knock on someone's door, they yell, "Who is it!?". Hahaha I'll miss Home! 

I'm so grateful for the past 6 months and what my time here in Morgan Park with sister House and sister Haynes have taught me. I love these members with all my heart. A lot of them don't have an extensive knowledge of the Gospel or understand everything and why, but they believe and have faith in this gospel with their whole hearts. They have so much faith in Jesus Christ. This little ward has blessed my life forever. 

God has literally carried me through the past 6 months and I know He will continue to do so for the rest of my mission and throughout my life. I love Chicago! I love Jesus! Hallelujah! Amen! #SouthSideForever 

Love,
Sister Gallegos