Monday, October 15, 2012


Hola Familia!
Whew! What a busy week! Still trying to fight with time on my P-Days to email, but it is getting a little better now, and this will probably be the normal time I have to email from now on! :) I am absolutely loving it out here, the people are amazing, the culture is amazing, the food is amazing, the Spanish is amazing, and the GOSPEL is amazing. I am so grateful for how much it has changed my life and how strongly I can feel the Spirit everyday as I'm out here doing this wonderful work and serving the Lord.
Before I forget, General Conference! Oh my, when I heard the announcement of the new ages, I got chills. All my friends are elligible for a mission now, and the mission field ought to DOUBLE in numbers now. How amazing, the opportunity to serve a mission is one of the greatest blessings you can ask for, I promise. So all that are out there thinking about a mission and are now elligible, NEED TO! I want this experience for everyone, it has changed my life so much!
So this week was super busy. Lots and lots of finding. Our Zone has been getting pretty low on numbers, so we were told we needed to work on that, so we did! The number SKYROCKETED this week. We went from 10-12 new investigators a week to 40! The work has been progressing so well here, and the mission as a whole has found over 70 new missionaries, so our Zone alone was over half! :) We have loved every minute of it! My Zone Leaders call my strong desire to work and our success Greenie Fire! ha
As for Elder Andersen and I, we found 6 new investigators this week, and went from one with a baptismal date to five with a baptismal date. All the door knocking and referrals really payed off!
Well Jose Solorio has continued to come to church and we only got to visit with him twice last week, but the second visit, his wife joined in on the lesson. We are now teaching the parents, one of the sons, and the other son is already baptized, so that's just great! The sad part however is that they are moving, so we are hoping we can work with them towards a baptismal date before they leave. Doesn't really help that they don't know when they are leaving, but we invited the parents to be baptized Saturday night and they said they need to learn more. Hopefully tonight when we meet with them, they will feel the strong prompting the Spirit brings in the lessons!
On Tuesday we met Eugene knocking doors, and he is the coolest guy ever! He invited us in, and just talked with us for a while about his life ha. Took a little longer than it should have, and we were trying to make our way out, but he had just lost his wife, and he is pretty mucht the only one left now out of all his brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, parents...all in his generation or older, so he is super lonely and hates being home. We knew immediately what we needed to teach him. So the lessons began the next day! We got choked up saying the pray and was so happy to have us there, and felt it could change his life to listen to what we had to say, which it can! The Gospel definitely has the ability to change lives! We told him about the constant companion of the Holy Ghost after baptism, invited him, and he said, "ABSOLUTELY!" He is just so great and continues to follow through with the committments of reading, praying, and everything! Unfortunately, he prefers to be taught in English and wants to go to church in English, so we have to pass him along to the English Elders this week :( Super sad, but I know he will continue to progress towards that baptismal date, and we can stop by and visit him still from time to time. :)
We were referred to Melissa and Rosa, and daughter and her mother on Wednesday. They are solid, and the daughter pretty much already has a testimony because she has been through lessons and to church in Mexico, and Rosa asks lots of questions, and is so interested in every lesson. They both have baptismal dates as well, and we continue to see their testimonies grow!
Our final investigator with a baptismal date is George. I dont know him very well because I have only met him once, but has a baptismal date and apparently has experienced some pretty life changing experiences from the Church. He has been progressing from what I've heard!
We have plans for a couple more investigators with baptismal dates this week, and we know that the Spirit will testify to them that this Church is true, just like it has to us. I absolutely love this Church and I know that without it, I wouldn't be where I am today. This Gospel has changed our family and I know that it can change the lives of anyone who listens to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I sure love this work and I love being out here! Love you all so much, love hearing from you, and you're all always in my prayers!! :) Love you!
-Elder Gallego
"I'm a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it." Sister Ann Dibb

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Hola Familia!

Well, this is going to be a way shorter email than usual. Things have already been super busy here, especially today, but I'm enjoying it and I know I have been called here to work hard, so I'm doing it! :) I absolutely love it here so far, and I know I will continue to, the people are wonderful, and I have met so many new people already. However, with General Conference this past weekend, I wasn't able to meet the whole ward yet! Next week :) I am is what they call "little Mexico City" and I am loving it! Spanish is everywhere I go, and everyone keeps saying that I fit right in because my Spanish works for me. :)

My new companion's name is Elder Andersen from Missouri! He is extremely nice and pretty easy going. We can definitely already see room for improvment, but that is as can be expected. We have a lot in common at the same time, though, so that is nice. He is ready to work hard, and so am I, and he knows we are going to have great success in this area. I wouldn't know what that's like, so I just take his word for it, and go with the flow. :) Apparently, there have been a lot of missionaries that have come to the mission lately that are what they call "already prepared," and apparently I'm one of them! ha Thank you MTC maestros! So we have already hit the ground running!

Quick little story from this week, as we went to go visit one of the investigators with a baptismal date, Jose, his dad had just returned from a trip to visit family in Utah. As we were waiting for Jose Junior, his dad, Brother Jose, as we call him to distinguish the difference, talked to us. Well, just before we went into the lesson, I felt the prompting to invite his dad into it as well, at first he turned me down, but ended up coming in anyways! Well, that lesson did not go as planned haha His dad ended up asking a TON of questions and we did the best we could to answer them in our broken Spanish and ultimately invited him to start reading the Book of Mormon to answer his questions and pray about it. And he committed to it! He is an example of what Elder Andersen calls a "truth seeker." He is not just there to listen, he really wants to know! Andddd, not only did he read and pray, and continues to read and pray, but he came to General Conference, too! He took notes and everything, and we have another lesson with him tonight, it's amazing how fast he is progressing and keeping commitments with us. I can already see the Lord's hand in being here. Through Faith in Jesus Christ all things are possible. We asked for the blessing of finding more that would like to hear of this wonderful work, and we found Brother Jose the NEXT day. How amazing! So please keep both Jose's and us Elders in your prayers, tonight we have a wonderful lesson planned for him, and we are praying all continues to go well! Love you all, thank you for the love and support you show me! I love this work and I love this Gospel. It's true, without a doubt. I know it, and we can all know if through the Book of Mormon and praying with faith. Love you!

-Elder Gallego

"It's not a race, it's a journey...enjoy the moment." President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Hola Familia!

Short little email to let you know travel was safe! I sure love it here, and it is super weird to already pretty much know the area. :) It sure was nice to talk to all of you this morning, sorry I won't be able to call you again today, but Christmas is just around the corner, I love you!

My mission president and his wife are seriously amazing! I love them so much already. :) We are spending most of the day here at there house working on introductions and interviews. It's just about time for lunch as well, it smells amazing here, I can't wait to eat for the first time today. ;) Didn't have any time this morning ha.

I love the new missionaries that are here with me today, they are going to be very successful, they have wonderful personalities, and I can feel the light of Christ and Spirit they have. I will be meeting my new companion today, it's a mystery as to who he is for right now, but soon I'll find out! :)

The Book of Mormon turned out to be unecessary for this plane ride, but I'm still going to have it with me and ready for the next time! I was all surrounded by missionaries ha.

I already have a best friend here, his name is Elder Brooks. We sat next to eachother on the plane, and we can't wait and sure hope we'll be companions, we have so much in common!

Well, it is time for lunch now, my P-Days from now on will be Monday. I love you, and I will keep you updated! California sure is great, but the work of the Lord is even greater. We can all be missionaries and follow the Savior's example. Love you!

-Elder Gallego

"[Some people] are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it." D&C 123:12


Hola Familia!

Alright, I'm officially in mini freak out mode. :) Not really, but I feel ready and I'm not worried about the packing because I came here with extra space, so hopefully I'm good! Yesterday was In-Field Orientation and that was amazing! So many fun activities and so much great information for the field. I'm set for whoever I meet on the airplane. I had a prompting to get a Book of Mormon and write my testimony in it. So I did! I learned from President Monson to NEVER ignore a prompting, so I'm ready. :) Before I forget, if you haven't mailed a letter you want me to get by the time I leave, don't mail it to the MTC address, mail it to my new one, or else I won't get it for a while. :/

Elder Alec Gallego
2500 N. Bristol St.
Santa Ana, CA 92706

I can't believe I'm already headed out! Time has already flown by so fast. I can't believe you are already going home in less than a month, Matthew! Keep up the great work and finish strong, you're such an example to me! :)

My voice is back completely now, thank goodness, and it came back JUST in time for Elder Russo's and mine musical number, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." I was SO nervous about my voice, not necessarily in the sense that I wanted to sound good, but I didn't want to distract from the Spirit that is felt during that arrangement of that song. So I prayed before and when I got up there, it still wasn't completely there, but it was enough to where I could sing the notes correctly, and they said it still sounded really good and felt the Spirit. :) The Spirit WAS so strong, and Elder Russo sounded awesome, too! My first musical duet in church. So nervous, but it strengthened my testimony of prayer, and I was so grateful for the chance we had to do that. 

After the musical number was over my voice kind of died again, but I didn't care because I wasn't singing anymore! :) Or so I thought... At dinner Elder McMahon and I were called to the front desk to be told that our vocal duet of "Lord, I Would Follow Thee," that we tried out for was chosen as a musical number in the Welcome Meeting for new missionaries the following day! Oh my. It was funny because right after we read the letter explaining it, he turned to me with a smirk on his face, and said, " know what you're praying for even harder tonight, right?" ha I laughed and looked at him, "my voice?" "That's right." :) Needless to say, Elder McMahon put me on vocal rest until the musical number. ha I wasn't allowed to talk, sing, or laugh until then. So I learned semi-sign language that day! It was interesting, but when it came time to sign, again my voice came back for the performance! And it has stayed back since. :) Again, I was grateful for that experience as well, I sure love the power music has to bring the Spirit. :)

This Sunday we had the wonderful opportunity to watch the dedication of the Brigham City Temple! I just LOVE temple dedications, the Spirit was so strong, and I loved hearing about the importance of temples and Elder Packer's testimony and stories. What a blessing it is to have them. President Dennis (my Branch President) was telling us that he memorized all the names of the temples when he was in Primary...all 8 of them. :) Now there are 139! It's amazing how much the church and the need for more temples has grown. I sure love the temple.

Also, this Sunday in Sacrament Meeting, Brother Caywood gave an amazing talk that I want to share with you. First, he talked about Leprosy. He explained how Leprosy is not nearly as common as it used to be in the Savior's time, with only 5% of the world really susceptible to the disease. The symptoms of Leprosy are not that the skin rots away from your body, but rather the loss of feeling that leads to it. When you have Leprosy, the bacterium attacks the nerves hear the surface of your skin to where you literally cannot feel. For example, you could carry a pot of boiling water from the bottom and not even tell, which leads to the melting away of skin. Many other things lead to it, all of them leading back to the fact you cannot feel. The revenue for Leprosy nowadays is a couple-dollar shot as long as it is caught quickly. He then likened this disease to Spiritual Leprosy. Spiritual Leprosy has the same effect. The analogical meaning is that you cannot feel anything of the Spiritual nature. He said the symptoms are explained clearly in Ephesians 4:18 when it says, "having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hear." Just as Laman and Lemuel refused to feel the Spirit even though they had seen an angel. We need to beware of this Spiritual Leprosy by avoiding anything that offends the Spirit. That is the beginning. However, there is a revenue for the Spiritual Leprosy, as long as it is caught quickly as well, just as there is one for physical Leprosy. It is the mercy of God to provide a way back to him. It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He warned, "don't let it get to the point when there is not return, just as physical Leprosy has that point. Just as when the Leper is healed, he is clean, when the Spiritual Leper is healed, he is clean." Repentance is the key. I heard another quote that reminded me of this from Brad Wilcox this week. I don't know if you know who that is, but his daughter is in the new District, so he sent us a talk of his. :) He said, regarding the Judgment time, "the older I get, and the more I understand this wonderful plan of redemption, the more I realize that in the final judgment it will NOT be the unrepentant sinner begging Jesus, "let me stay." Not he will probably be saying, "get me out of here!" Knowing Christ's character, I believe on that occasion it would probably be Jesus begging the unrepentant sinner, "Please, choose to stay. Please, use my Atonement-not just to be cleansed but to be changed so that you WANT to stay." Let's be careful to avoid Spiritual Leprosy, and remember that the Atonement of Jesus Christ provides a way to help us steer clear of it. What an amazing talk, once again! I'm sure going to miss my Branch Presidency, they have taught me so much!

So this week has basically been a week of last minute cramming, and lots of good byes. :( It's going to be super hard to leave the MTC. I will especially miss my teachers, Branch Presidency, District, and Zone, who I have come to love so much. I will extremely miss my amazing companion, Elder Russo. We have grown so much together, and I know he will be one awesome missionary. I have learned so much here, and I know I will be prepared for the mission field thanks to my amazing teachers! So it's time. As I hosted new missionaries and gave the tour this week, I came to realize the cliche, "out with the old, in with the new." I love you all so much, can't wait to talk to you, family on Tuesday! :) And so it goes, "out with the old, in with the new," goodbye MTC, hello Cali! :)

-Elder Gallego

"The Lord doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called."