Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Hola familia!

Como estan? So much to say about this week! Okay, so this week seemed to be the longest and one of the hardest ones yet! It seemed to just drag on ha but in both a good and a not so good way! Starting with not so good, I've been sick ALL WEEK! ugh. I woke up with a sore throat and just thought it was the dryness because it went away during the day. Well, that night it started hurting real bad and I could barely swallow! Since the MTC clinic is closed on the weekends, I talked to the doctor-on-call and he told me I could either go to the BYU Medical Center then or wait it out with some ibuprofen until morning. Seeing as it was lateish at night, I decided to wait it out. Morning came around, and it was still pretty bad, if not worse, so Elder Russo and I took a trip to the Instacare after walking down the street to find out the BYU Medical clinic is closed on weekends, too! Note to my Utah friends...if you saw what appeared to be my companion and I escaping the MTC Saturday morning...false alarm! ;) So we were shuttled to the Instacare to find out there was a huge HOPE run going on right outside. Not only were we already awkward because we forgot there was life outside the MTC ha, but what are the chances of that?! As we arrived and made our way through the crow to the Instacare, people were like, "the missionaries are running with us!" ha but we explained and they were legitimately sad :( But! Finally after a quick appointment, I was told I don't have STREP! yay! Instead, I have viral pharyngitis, which I dont know about you, but sounds deadlier to me ha I was prescribed a "Magic Mouthwash" and as we waited for the shuttle to puck us up, we sat on the bench in the parking lot. And there we had our first REAL missionary experience as missionaries! :)

A lady came and sat down next to us and after introductions, randomly started telling us her life story! She was telling us about how she just finished cancer and that she was there to support her daughter that died I think a little over a year ago. :( Then she asked us what we believe about Heaven. SO we seized this opportunity to tell her about God's Plan of Salvation and that we will be resurrected one day and all have perfect bodies and that she will see her daughter again. It was the weirdest thing teaching in English because we have been teaching in Spanish for the past two month! But the Spirit helped us and we could feel it's presence in that discussion. Our shuttle arrived as we were talking to her though, but we told her she could learn more on We didn't have a pass along card, but she said she would love that and was going to look it up, thanked us, and we were on our way. We felt so good and were so glad we had that wonderful opportunity!

Well, by the time we picked up my "Magic Mouthwash" and got back to the MTC, it was past noon! Crazy long morning, and poor Elder Russo had to stick it out with me, but he's a champ and awesome! :) So I'm slowly, but steadily improving besides Monday when I was feeling the worst and I was told to stay in bed and sleep it out a little, which TOTALLY helped, so I'm getting there! My voice is disappearing though (thanks Mom ;)) which stinks because Elder Russo and I are supposed to sing Come Thou Fount in church this week! Hopefully my voice comes back by then! :/

So other than fighting sickness all week I was super busy! As Zone Leader, I had a bunch of interviews to be done Saturday night, and all is well in the Zone! :) No new Districts this week though, so I wasn't able to do the tour :( Hopefully next week! However, this week our whole District was chosen to be HOST missionaries! that's when we welcome the new missionaries at the curb on Wednesdays and help them get their luggage and books, keys, card, etc. :) The two missionaries I had were English speakers and extremely nice! We get to do it again this week, so I'm looking forward to that!

In other news, I know I JUST wrote about new investigators, but as I also said, the MTC changes a lot! ha So our teachers are no longer investigators. Maria and Daniel both agreed to baptism and those were both wonderful experiences. :) So NOW and for the rest of the stay here, we are investigators for each other. Elder Russo and I now teach Brad (Elder McMahon) and Nate (Elder Shumway). We get to teach so much more beacuse we have so much more time! We are finally going to teach the 3rd lesson to someone! :) We've never gotten that far. The Spirit is still so strong in these lessons and I continue to learn so much! So they are progressing well, and in the words of Elder Russo, "we PONED in lessons this week!" ha well said, Elder. ;) They seem to be very receptive and we're getting more and more comfortable at teaching. Also, I'm an investigator now, too! :) It's so neat to take the opposite view of the lessons. It really helps me learn what's important in the lessons and how to tailor them to fit the investigator's needs. name is Mark and the day after the missionaries knocked on my door and we had a little conversation and I invited them back, my mother passed away from cancer. When they returned the next day, Elder Shumway and Elder McMahon were not expecting that, but they did an awesome job changing their plans to fit my needs and taught me the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit was SO strong that day and it brought Elder McMahon to tears. I felt bad, but he thanked me for that opportunity. In return, I thanked him for it because he was they were the ones teaching it! I learned so much from that day, it's neat to be able to act out examples of real life instances to practice. :)

This week when I was feeling a little down and selfishly sorry for myself, because of being sick and the dryness here gives me frequent bloody noses, and it's extremely frustrating :( and just Satan getting to me I reread the notes I took last Sunday when I wad the chance to watch President Holland's "Missions are Forever" address. I have never been so moved in a talk. It nearly brought me to tears how amazing it was. I'm running out of time and I would talk forever about it if I could, but it's about the importance of missions and how we are apostalic. "Not the capital A, but the lowercase a," he says. :) SO much was said, and I warn ALL missionaries that when they get to the MTC to watch it. Don't miss it! The part that really stuck out to me was when he said, "and forever, and forever, and forever my life was changed. No one takes their mission more to heart than I do, that is how serious it is to me. You don't leave on your mission for two years from real life, you mission IS real life! Don't you DARE go home!" For those of you that know him, he said that in his Jeffrey R. Holland boomy, soul-shaking voice. I LOVED it! Not that I was ever considering coming home or ever will, but this really boosted my testimony of this work. I love it so much!

I have a little over one more week here at the MTC. I get my travel plans today! :) I'm so excited to get there and do my best in serving the Lord. I'm so happy! I know it won't be easy, but I follow Elder Holland's council when he says, "it can't be easy, the road to salvation goes through Gethsemane. Why should it be easy for us if it wasn't easy for him?" I love this gospel, I love this church. I love you all! I'll be calling you soon, so look out, fam! ;) Love you!

-Elder Gallego

"Go out and astonish someone!" Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Monday, September 17, 2012


Hola familia!

Whew! What a busy week! It seems like this week has just FLOWN by. For starters, I'm now a Zone Leader! So last Friday, Elder Shumway was in what we call "visa mode" and couldn't get it off his mind. He was telling us all that he could feel it, that his visa he'd been waiting for was here. Later that day, he thought he heard his name called over the intercom at dinner, so they went to the Front Desk, and nothin. Then we had TRC, which is when we go and teach regular member volunteers, and it's super fun! Well, once we got back, there was a note on the board instructing Elder Shumway to go to the travel office as soon as possible before it closed. He ran. ha When he got back, sure enough, he had his travel plans and visa! On Tuesday, he was to meet with the Spain Consolate to get it signed and then take off the next morning at 8 a.m. Tuesday came around and he took off for UVU to meet the Consolate (Elder McMahon was a little annoyed that they didn't let his companion go, too ha). He returned about an hour later with some sad news. Although he was all packed and ready to go, he wasn't leaving in the morning. :( Apparently they had notified the wrong Elder Shumway! It just so happens that there was another Elder Shumway waiting on HIS visa to Spain as well! Can you believe it? He was pretty upset. But after a night of angry Elder Shumway, the next day he felt a little better and that he apparently was not supposed to leave yet, as he said. Something he shared during our Devotional Review that I was impressed to hear was when he shared his feelings that "this is God's work, not mine." He's a great guy, and he's back in the swing of things, so that's good. Unfortunate for the other Elder Shumway, he was told Tuesday that he was getting his visa signed and leaving in the morning! ha

So as far as the Zone Leader calling goes, when Elder Tengburg and Elder Watt left, Elder Shumway and Elder McMahon were called, but with the surprise of the visa, and after about two days in his called Elder Shumway was released, but now he is recalled, so we have four! The plan for when he left was that Elder Russo, Elder McMahon, and I would be a trio so Elder Russo and I were also called to be Zone Leaders! We have 8 meetings to attend every Sunday, and have to wear suits 5 out of the 7 days a week for other assignments. But we are enjoying it since we get to welcome the new missionaries this week and take them on a tour (the best part :)).

So another interesting part of becoming a Zone Leader is that you sit up on the stand during Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. I bet you're wondering how that could be interesting...let me explain. :) Brother Pickering is clearly tone deaf, and although he knows it, he doesn't care and sings as loud as he possibly can. Which as a soft spoken man is only loud enough to reach the fellow stand-sitters. I love his enthusiasm in this and would NEVER tell anyone to stop singing. However, the challenge of being a Zone Leader that has been passed down to all in our Branch is to not laugh during the songs. I had high hopes for this, and I try my hardest not to, but I PROMISE you, it is impossible for us. It's not a making fun of him laugh, but I can't explain it, I love the Brother! Apparently it has been impossible for ever Zone Leader before us, too. ha It's so embarrassing because no one else can hear it but the stand and they just think we're all dorks cracking up on the stand. :( So sad, but I'm going to keep trying to fight it on Sundays! I dread sitting on the stand now, but I still love my calling! :) (fun little story for you :))

A topic that was brought up a few times this week was the Strippling Warriors. My favorite story in the Book of Mormon! And Mom, you know what i thought of. :) The Kory Kunz song!
   "Our Mothers always taught us we should never doubt.
    If we are true and faithful we will conquer now.
    Our God will fight beside us, he will help us win.
    Our Mothers always new it, we would all come home again!"
I love this because the Strippling Warriors are such examples of faith! We were visited on Tuesday by Elder Carlson from the Quorum of the Seventy and his wife, and she told us, "no matter where you go, there will be someone who knows you, or think they know you. Don't let them down. Be the missionary your Mother has raised you to be, like the Strippling Warriors." She likened us to the Strippling Warriors and how we are all going to go out and fight our own battles in our missions. I love that because it reminds me of you, Mom, of course! You have taught me so much and I appreciate it so much. If there were anything i would change about that quote though, it would be "the missionary you PARENTS have raised to you to be." I'm so grateful for BOTH of you and all that you have done for me. Dad, I still carry that coin of Putting on the Armor of God, and I love looking at it and being reminded of things you have taught me my whole life. I love it, and I love you both. :)

I love my whole family, and I miss you all like crazy, but I know this is where I'm supposed to be, and I won't forget, I'm a Gallego! :) I'll be the missionary you have raised me to be! Oh! And I forgot to congratulate Tiffany and JR for the baptisms last week. Congrats! :) Love you!

-Elder Gallego

"This mission isn't about you, it's about being the hands of the Savior in blessing the lives of the world." Sister Allen

Friday, September 7, 2012


Hola Familia!

Como estan? Esta semana fue muy rapido para me. Mi Espanol esta mejorando, pero todavia necesito trabajar man! Estoy continuando a aprender mucho y estaba memorizando muchas escrituras esta semana. Yo se Droctina y Convenios 4, Santiago 1:5, Moises 1:39, la Primera Vision, y tambien nuestro proposito! La obra esta progresando y yo se que estare listo cuando esta tiempo para el campo. Me gusta mucho mi mision y estoy agradecido por la oportunidad de servir el Senor y Dios. Siento si mismo aprendiendo cada diea. Mi testimonio esta mejorando tambien con todas las veces cuando el Espiritu esta muy fuerte! Estoy muy agradecido por esta semana!

Okay, so in case you couldn't translate that without all the accents, it's kind of difficult, i know, I basically said it was a great week full of memorizing scriptures, and my Spanish and testimony are growing so much with all the times that the Spirit has been so strong. I'm so grateful for this work, and although i know i have so much more to learn, I know I'll be ready for the mission field. I'm so grateful for this Church!

Before I forget, two weeks ago i challenged you to write a letter to an investigator struggling with talking to God through prayer about repentance. If you did it, the neat experience is to change all the you's or (if you chose a name for them) their name with your name and read it as if it's a letter to yourself. For me, it was an interesting change of perspective that I thought you might find interesting as well. :)

This week was Elder Russo's Birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELDER RUSSO! He is now 19! We all wrote him a card and gave him beef jerky. ha Not that this has to do with his birthday, but our companionship has never been stronger and we're loving it! We're doing great with our new investigators! Maria loves the idea of the church, and it's support of families and has already gone through the Visitor Center of the Oakland Temple and is goig to church with us this week! We "took her on a tour of the chapel" while her kids were "at a Primary Party." And we'll be following up with her about that tomorrow and inviting her to be baptized. I LOVE those lessons, the Spirit is so strong! Our other investigator is Daniel. Daniel moved with his three sisters and mother to the United States because his Dad is an alcoholic and was very abusive to them. They live with his Aunt and cousins, who think we are of the devil along with his sisters. :( His mom is also going through cancer, and he is working as much as he possibly can at the 99 cent store cashiering. He is searching for a riligion that will bring him peace and help him out. Luckily he "ran into us on the streets," and now we're teaching him. :) It's a little rough that his family doesn't approve, but he doesn't mind them and stil wants to hear what we have to say, perfect, right? So we are doing great so far, our lessons have been going well and our Spanish is getting better, so it's so much fun! I've already had so many instances when the words are just flowing out of my mouth with the Power of the Spirit, and I swear i speak better Spanish in lessons that i do outside of them, it's so neat!

This past weekend was Fast Sunday, and not going to lie, this Fast Sunday wasn't as easy as my first one, but I lived! ha The MTC Presidency was released. President Nally as first counselor and President McIff as second counselor. President McIff was called as first counselor, and President Hacking from one of the branch presidencies was called to second counselor. And as for President Nally, he will be the new MTC Mission President as of January and will be taking over for President Brown. I love them all, but I'm sad I won't be able to hear more from the Nallys, but they'll be back for you, Chandler! ;)

Since this week was Fast Sunday, that means we not only had a Fireside planned, but also Mission Conference, which is always nice to hear! Some highlights were President Brady and his wife both spake about keeping the constant companion of the Holy Ghost. In our companionships, the Senior companion should always be the Holy Ghost. They shared with us the 3 C's of companionship:
   1. Council, don't complain
   2. Care, don't compare
   3. Christlike Attributes invite the Holy Ghost
We need to remember the question should never be "who is right," but instead "what is right." President Nally and his wife went along witht the same topic as they taught that we must follow the revelation from the Holy Ghost and "be full of patience in the process of becoming a missionary." So true! Patience has been one of my main Christlike Attributes I've been working on here at the MTC! The rest of Sunday was amazing and instaed of a fireside, we watched President Monson's 85th Birthday Celebration and it was UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING! It was full of music and the singers were crazy talented. Watch it if you can! :)

Well, I'm continuing to learn and grow here! Weeks are flying by, but that doesn't mean we aren't working hard! I love my teachers and my companions and more importantly I love the Lord and God, and the chance I'm having to serve a mission, there is no where else i would rather be. Love you all as well, and would you please keep one of the elders in my District in your prayers, Elder Erickson. He is struggling a lot with the language and learning the lessons, so I'm going to keep him in mine as well, thank you so much! Until next week, hasta luego!

-Elder Gallego


Hola Familia!

It's been a month already! I got the package, thank you SO much! I love all the pictures and decorations and food...I'll be decorating my room today with pictures. :) It's amazing how often things change here at the MTC. It's never ending! So as i mentioned last week, our District changed, but differently than we expected. Instead of getting new teacher, we combined with the other District that we are close with. To me, this is super exciting because I love this District and all the missionaries have great study habits. That happened monday, so now we have a PACKED foom full of 13 missionaries, and my new teachers are Hermano Thompson and Hermana Camacho. They speak Spanish SUPER fast, but I love ir because it is getting me used to what i am going to be dealing with. I understand it all, too...too bad I understand better than I speak it! Hermana Ruiz's speed and accent really prepared me for this class. :) Hermano Thompson or Ton-son (as we say it in Spanish) is from Hawaii and he doesn't speak English very well, so Spanish is the only option ha. Hermano Camacho is from Puerto Rico, so she does not pronounce her S's and talks super fast, so her accent is a little distracting, but it makes class fun! They both are wonderful teachers and show they really care. Hno. Ton-son interviewed all the new Elders and made us feel so comfortable, and Hna. Camacho just has a wonderful, upbeat personality. :)

I had another amazing spiritually uplifting Sunday again, as usual. It seemed to be mainly centered on anchoring yourself in Christ and striving to become like him. Mom, this reminded me of helping you with Girl's Camp that one year you made the large sail and other boat things ha...I don't even know if the theme that year was "Anchored in Christ," i don't remember, but it still reminded me of it! So fun, I miss all our projects! :)

Sister Caywood gave a talk in our Sacrament Meeting about having a SURE anchor. She told a story about her cousin. He is a handyman and decided one day that he was going to repair a hole in the roof of the garage. Knowing the roof had a steep slope, he tied a rope around his waist, attached the other end of the rope to the bumper of his car, and went up and over the peak of the garage beacuse the hole was on the other side. He knew that being anchored to something would keep him from falling off the roof. Or so he thought... As he was working, his wife decided she needed to go to the store. So she got in their only car at the time, completely unaware of the "anchor," and began to back out of the driveway! He felt the tug and began screaming and shouting, but he was up that one side, down the other, and into the bushes before his wife noticed. She immediately stopped the car and ran to his side to make sure he was alright, which he was. We need a SURE anchor! Just like her cousin, an investigator can not be anchored in us missionaries. We are not sure, we will eventually leave, like the car. We need to make sure the investigator has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and rely on him, he is sure. I absolutely love the Caywoods and all their stories and life lessons. :)

That night we were priviledged to hear from President Stephen Allen, the Director of Admissions for Missionaries. He gave a talk about making the correct shoices on our missions and making sure that as companions, we watch out for eachother, too. Mainly moral conduct. We need to make sure we "remember who we are and remember the dignity of our call." Just remember that mere wanting to is hardly the proper guide to moral conduct. If you are anchored in Christ in your decisions as well, you will be safe.

Following the Fireside, we watched the talk Elder Bednar gave last Christmas in the MTC for movie night, "The Character of Christ." If you haven't already, i HIGHLY recommend that you watch it, it is extremely powerful. We were told that there are two talks that play on Sunday nights that are life-changing; this one and "Missions Are Forever" by Elder Jeffrey R Holland (of course :)). And they're not kidding. This talk was phenomenal. He teaches that we must follow the Character of Christ and turn out when others would turn in. In other words, we should think about other instead of ourselves, just as Jesus did. He explained it so much better, so I hope you can find it and watch it.

I know that if I anchor myself in Christ, all is possible. With all this constant change going on in my life, I know that no matter what, nothing else will matter and I will always be able to stay focused on my goal of growing as a missionary. I love Elder Bednar's words when he says, "If you are converted unto the Lord, I profesy, I testify, you will never fall away from the church... The greatest convert on your mission ought to be you." How true that is! How are we supposed to teach it if we aren't living it? I know these things to be true, I am living them right now.

I miss you and love you all so much! Thank you for the letters, packages and support! Sorry I don't have much to say about what I did this week, with the weeks flying by so fast, it just seems like the main highlights are what I am learning, and I love to share what I learn. :) Congratulations to my friend Tiffany Trout for making the wonderful decision to be baptized tomorrow, I'm so proud of you! :) And also to JR Turley, one of my buds from my Primary Class before I left, for also making the decision to be baptized tomorrow, I know you both with LOVE the feeling. Soak in the Spirit, it's a wonderful thing. :) Love you all, I'll continue to stay in touch! :)

-Elder Gallego