Monday, March 11, 2013


Hola familia!
Holy cow...I don't even know where to start. SO much has happened this week, I have so much to share with you. I hope that all is going well with you, and I hope to hear from you all soon. For starters, it's going to be a LOT easier to communicate with me from now on! The First Presidency sent out a letter world-wide this week, as of today, we can now email whoever we want, and anyone can email us. There aren't restrictions to only families now! So shout out to anyone who would like to email email, and I can't wait to hear from you. :) And family, don't be worried that you are not going to have enough time to still chat with me, too...on top of the changed privileges, we have up to two hours for email on preparation day, now. Woo hoo! Hope to hear from you! :)
In other news, we also found out how the new boundaries of the Irvine California Mission will effect our's. Effective July 1st, the Irvine Mission will be taking our Irvine Stake and Newport Stake...however, it will only be taking the English Stakes. So, the Spanish boundaries are going to stay the same, and basically the two missions will just be overlapping. Yay! I still have a chance to serve in my "home." I do know, however, that the Aliso Viejo area will be part of the new Irvine Mission as well. :) Look out Johnson Family! ;)
Now, another big surprise of this week is that I have been transferred from my home. :( Saturday night we received the call, yesterday I was able to get out all my goodbyes, and today I moved. SO SAD!! It was really hard leaving my area and my companion, Elder Facer. He is such a great missionary, and I know that he has so much potential to continue changing that area. I wish him luck, and I thank him for everything he has done for me. :) It was bittersweet saying goodbye to the ward. Although It is sad to say goodbye, I am also excited for whatever changes I go through and the opportunity to meet more families like the Lopez Family, not to say that they will be replaced. ;) They have been so wonderful to me and my companion, and it was like leaving home all over again. Tears were shed, but tears of love. I will be excited when I return to visit the wonderful members of the Santa Ana 5th Ward when I return after my mission. I have been transferred to.................................................Anaheim! My new ward is Anaheim 11, and we cover basically all of Orange. So, I feel like I am pretty much starting all over again, because I know NOTHING about this area, and it's pretty big, so I am for sure going to be the streets are all curvy, so it makes me even more lost! It's okay though, because I have been blessed with an excellent new companion! My new companion is...................................Elder Chase Tueller from Mesa! That's right, Mesa Elders are taking over Anaheim. Along with me joining this awesome district, Elder Tidwell from Mesa is going to be serving with us. So Mesa Elders are uniting. ;) We look forward to an excellent transfer, and it's great to know that I already have so much in common with Elder Tueller as we talk about all you at home. ;) Plus, he's District Leader, which makes me mildly powerful as well. ;) He's a great Elder, and I look forward to the coming transfers with him.
Also this week, we had the baptism of little miss Samantha. She looked wonderful as she was such an example to her family and friends in making the decision to be baptized. I performed the ordinance, and with the help of us Elders and a couple of the ward members, she was confirmed a member of the Church and given the Holy Ghost. It sure was a special day! Her face was beaming as she entered the waters and wouldn't stop smiling throughout the rest of the day. I am so proud of her and her family, and also really appreciate all that they have done for us. They have really shown the charity of the Lord through their actions towards us missionaries. Love the Cedillo Family!
Unfortunately, I was not able to witness the baptism of Azul, but I plan on returning for her baptism when all the little "wrinkles" are "ironed" out. :) She and her family are still such a great example to us of love and charity as well. That ward is just so amazing! I can't wait to meet my new ward, I heard they are amazing as well. Love it out here!
I have yet to see my new apartment, but apparently, from what Elder Tueller says, we will be able to watch the fireworks from Disneyland out our window every night! Cool huh? I was wondering if I'd ever get to see those on my mission. ;)
So, for now, I am resettling in. I am super excited to meet new ward members, and I can't wait to update you next week on what all is going on in this area. The field is all white, ready to harvest. Thank goodness I brought my sickle! ;) Love you all so much, hope all is well for you, as well...can't wait to hear more from you! Until next week, hasta luego!
-Elder Gallego
"In a world that is constantly changing, it is up to us to decide whether we will use this change to benefit, or destroy."


Hola familia!
This week was a BUSY week! We're really making sure that we finish off this transfer strong in this area. We feel like one of us is going to be transferred in this coming week, due to the fact that we have already spent two transfers together. :( I really hope that we stay together in this area. I love it SO much! I really don't want to leave, but at the same time, I know that wherever I go, I will be blessed through my efforts...I'll stay strong wherever! :) This ward is just so great and we are finally seeing those seeds that I have been telling you about, sprout. I'm so excited and honored to be a part of it all. :)
The baptism of Samantha got moved to this coming Sunday, because some things fell through in the ward and in the family, so it is just going to work better, which means that Azul and Samantha will be baptized on the same day...making this Sunday even busier! We can't wait, it's going to be one special day! So happy for the changes that I know it will make in their lives. They are both progressing very well, along with Rebecca, and we look forward to the baptisms this week of these little angels and Rebecca's is to come next week! Entonces seguimos trabajando!
Quick little humor blurp. Elder Fuentes and I had exchanges together this week, and with his accent, he has a hard time saying "chart." SO the rare times that he uses that word, we spend a good time laughing because he says "shart." haha He's awesome. :)
This week has also been a week SOLID with service! We had a great District Meeting about how we can find more referrals and opportunities to teach through service to our ward members. We have really seen the fruits of that, and I know it is true. We have been working on a lot of reconstruction in the Lopez family to help them out since they don't have the most man power in their home since the Dad got part of his leg removed about a hear ago. So they have been really appreciative of that, and it's fun to use all the things you have taught me, Mom and Dad, to help them out! :) It's funny because I didn't realize I knew so much about housing stuff just from watching you both do it and helping you as I was growing up, so it's been fun feeling like handymen. It pays off! :) I LOVE THE LOPEZ FAMILY! They do so much for us, and it really feels like home in their house because they have been so unbelievably hospitable to us. We basically have 3 new mission mothers taking care of us out here ha. Love them. :)
In other news...sad news. Remember Minh? The one I told you about a little while back that was the first convert baptism I was involved in out here? His mom got hit by a car last night on her way walking into the trailer complex where she and the Manzano family lives and was killed. She has basically been his life for the past 5 years as he has been taking care of her after he found out after 20 years that she was alive. Although she was really old and going through some physical pain, it's going to be hard on him. He was been a wonderful son to her, and it is super sad to hear that. Hermana Manzano called us just moments after it happened and we did all we could to help him out before we had to be home. It is going to be really rough for him, but we are so glad that he found the church before this happened so that he can feel that he is not alone through this. The bishop responded right away, and the ward has already done an amazing job in the efforts of reaching out to help him. He has been through a lot, and I hope he doesn't let this cripple him, so please keep him in your prayers, as I am. He could use them. Thank you.
This week has been a great week, and we look forward to finishing strong in the final week of this transfer already! We have 32 new missionaries coming in this next week, and we're ready. :) Love you all so much, and OH! Forgot to tell you, but we found out a little more information on how our mission is going to be affected by the new California Irvine Mission...we are losing the Irvine and Newport Beach stakes, which means, unless I get moved to that mission, I will lose my chance to serve in my other "home" of Newport Beach. :( But's it's all good. "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord. " :) Love you all so much, hope you are all doing great, congratulations to all going on missions, engaged, and married! Sounds like a lot is going on back home, it's good to hear all is well. :) Stay strong!
-Elder Gallego
"Never slow down. Never look back. Never give up." Elder Bunker, my District Leader :)

Monday, March 4, 2013


Hola familia!
Wow! This was a BUSY week, but I like keeping busy. :) We moved again this week for the 2nd time in the past month, but there are lots of changes going on in the mission to make room for the amount of missionaries coming in this next transfer...32! That's crazy! They're going to have to all meet at the mission office for their introduction, unfortunately, because that many people can't fit in the mission home. ;) They will still be treated well like we were though. :) Most of them are Sister missionaries, so I don't think this transfer will be a training transfer for me either, but we will see next Thursday when we receive leadership calls. I would love to train someday, but for now, I'm comfortable with whatever. :) I will help in whatever way I can!
This week was also busy because we were teaching a ton! As I told you last week, our specialty seems to be teaching young girls (8,9,10) in a non-creepy way, of course. But they are all so great and have really already been prepared for our lessons. We know that in no time, they will be prepared for their baptisms. This week is the baptism of little Miss Samantha Cedillo and she has asked me to baptize her, so I'm, of course, excited and honored to be involved in her baptism. :) She is a great example to us and her family, and I can see her staying strong in the church. Next week, we have the baptism of Azul Ramos, and she is just amazing in the fact that she is practically teaching US in all the lessons! She already is so smart and knows so much. She loves to read, so she is doing a great job keeping up with her study of the Book of Mormon, and she really loves this church. Another great example for us and her family. Her Spirit is so strong! The week after next, we have the baptism of Rebecca Villalobos. She is part of the family that I told you the Assistants talked with when they were cleaning the Bristol building a couple of weeks ago. They are a solid family, and they really want to make the changes necessary in their lives to return to activity and straighten out their lives. We are working on getting her Dad to come back to church right now, but she and her mom have not missed a Sunday since we started teaching them. She is very involved as well, and is such a nice girl! We have such great investigators right now! I'm so happy to see these seeds blooming in the area right now. Our goal as a mission is to have one baptism per companionship per month, and we didn't have any in January or February, but with the 3 coming up in the next couple of weeks, we will be back on track. :) I love this area!
Other than all that teaching, we have continued to increase our finding efforts and really search out opportunity to receive referrals from the Ward Members. Ward Members are SO important! I can't say it enough. A prophesy is happening right now. Just as the Lord warned us in the scriptures. He said he would hasten his work. Look at the missionary work right now. By June, the number of missionaries in the field is said to reach 100,000 from 56,000. That's almost double! Without a doubt, I know that President Thomas S. Monson is called of God, and that announcement he made almost 5 months ago is of divine revelation. We need the help of the members to find those people who are waiting for the church to enter their lives. Although there are going to be a LOT more missionaries in the world, we are still outnumbered by the people who do not know of the importance of this message. But, combined with the members, we can be an unstoppable team. :) I know this work is true, and I know it can change the life of anyone who choses to accept it. I sure love it out here, I can't say it enough. I love you all so much, and I ask that you would please help the missionaries in your wards. Although it may be uncomfortable at times to talk to your friends, we need to put aside our doubts and trust in the Lord. He will provide a way for our tongues to be loosened so that "every tongue will proclaim the truth." We need your help, but more importantly, the Lord needs your help. I hope all is well, and I will talk you to all next week! Love you!
-Elder Gallego
"Forget yourself, and go to work."


Hola familia!

This week was AWESOME! We are seeing so much success in this area, and we are loving it! We really feel like this ward is starting to pick up, and we are sure hoping we get to stay here longer. I love my companion, and I REALLY don't want to leave this ward yet. Not now that I am finally starting to see more success. :)/:( We found out this week that this transfer is going to be shortened to 5 weeks in order to make the whole change from 180 missionaries to 250 missionaries in the next couple months easier. So, they found in order to combat that and make it all work, they are shortening this transfer to 5 weeks and all the rest will be 6 weeks...meaning we are all going home 1 week earlier! ha Everyone was excited to hear that...except for me. :( I don't want to go home early, I love it too much! But that is still a little less than 18 months away, so no sweat now. So, after this week, there are only 2 weeks left in this transfer! We are going to be sure to keep working hard! ;)

This week we found 4 new solid investigators! It's been great! Most of the new investigators are from less-active members. Turns out that a few families we are helping to return to activity have children past the age of 8 who REALLY want to be baptized. It is the cutest thing! Samantha Cedillo is still going strong, and despite the disagreement with her grandma, her baptism is set for the 3rd of March, and would like me to baptize her. :) I'm so excited! :) Along with her, we have 9-year-old Azul Ramos, who is practically already a member. She and her family have been working on returning, and the other night when we went over to teach her the first lesson before baptism, they basically taught us! All about Joseph Smith and the First Vision and the Restauracion. She and her little 6 year old brother are so cute! His name is Hyrum, and he doesn't have his front two teeth, but despite his speech impediment, he loves telling us about all he is learning in church. She has a baptismal date set for the 10th of March, and can't wait to be baptized. :) Also, we were referred to another family the Assistants found cleaning the Bristol building that live in our ward. A family we have been trying to contact. We had a lesson the other day, and they really want to return to activity, as well...although it may take a little more work for the parents, their 10-year-old daughter, Rebecca, has been begging to return to the church to get baptized, so we will be talking more about baptism this week with her. Man! I don't have time to tell you about all of our investigators, but I absolutely love ALL of them. They are progressing well, and are really showing their faith as they make some big changes in their lives.

Along with a great week of success, we also had Zone Conference on Valentine's Day, and it was AMAZING! A few of the Elders and Sisters spoke, we were trained by our Assistants on finding, and President and Sister Bowen spoke to us. The Spirit was so strong during that whole meeting. I loved it. We learned about how we need to be driven in our teaching by love, not by duty. We need to get up and get going and work hard because we love the people we love the work, not just because it is our duty to serve. I loved that because, although it is easy for me to love the people here, sometimes I lose sight of that importance as I get caught up in just trying to hit our number goals for the week. I feel as we show the investigators and members more of the love that we have, they are more willing to listen and help. Love is the key!

Speaking of love, I LOVE the Lopez family! They are just so great ha. They gave us some gifts on Valentine's Day, and Nacho invited us to his birthday party at the Discovery Center today. We got permission and spent a couple hours with him and his family touring the Indiana Jones exhibition and the rest of the cool stuff at the Discovery Center, that place is so cool! I remember going somewhere like that when we went to New Jersey, Mom! It was so cool, I love that family, and will be so sad to leave them. :(

Now, I want to share something that I meant to share last week that I learned in a talk during stake conference that I thought was so neat. It was given by Elder Falabella of the Quorum of the Seventy. He taught about "the Rule of Cinco (5):"

1. Cinco oraciones (5 prayers). We need to be sure that we say a minimum of 5 prayers each day: when we wake up, when we eat breakfast, when we eat lunch, when we eat dinner, and when we go to bed.
2. Cinco minutos en el Libro de Mormon (5 minutes in the Book of Mormon). We need to study in the Book of Mormon at least 5 minutes each day.
3. Sin comer (Without food-meaning fasting). It was pretty humorous how he made this one into "cinco" ha. We need to remember that a part of spiritual growth is fasting for the answers and blessings to serious moments in our life. We need to remember to fast at least 1 time a month on Fast Sunday.
4. Cinco minutos antes de que empiece la reunion sacramental (5 minutes before Sacrament Meeting starts). We need to be in our seats and ready and reverent 5 minutes before Sacrament Meeting starts, in order to really prepare the Holy Ghost in our hearts and in the meeting.
5. Cinco convenios (5 covenants). In this one, he was referring to the 5 main covenants we make with God in this life. Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, Priesthood, Endowment, and Sealing. Although not all of them apply to women as well, they are still very important in all of our lives.

We promised the stake, that if we take action to apply this "Rule of Cinco" into our lives, we will see more promised blessings and feel the Spirit with us more throughout our days. I testify that this is true, that if we do that, we will indeed receive what he says. As servants of the Lord, I ad my testimony to his that this Gospel has that divine power to bless our lives if we only take the steps to show we are worthy to receive them. I love this church, and I love this mission. I never knew I had so much to change in my life, but I sure am glad to figure it out now, rather than later. ;) Love you all so much, I hope you had a great Valentine's Day, and I hope all is well! Cuidense!

-Elder Gallego

"There is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult, if we have faith." President Gordon B. Hinckley


Hola familia!
What a great week! It went by SUPER slow...but still went by fast at the same time...hmm...maybe it's just me. Anyways!
We have many new investigators! And they all seem pretty solid. The most progressing investigadora right now is named Josephina. She is a very sweet old lady who is the aunt of the Cedillo family. While teaching Samantha, we found her! She started coming to church one week, and we didn't know who she was, but eventually we found her again, and we're teaching her now. :) She is totally prepared. She's having a little bit of a rough time, but she continually tells us that God has given her "muchas fuerzas!" So although she has been through so much, she is super strong in her faith. Her husband passed away a couple years ago for her, and it was super rough on her. She gets emotional though when she tells us about how within the next week, missionaries appeared at her door and helped her out so much. Also, just before her husband died, she was hit by a car and they left her for dead. After a YEAR in the hospital, she recovered, and now has problems walking. They definitely prepared her down there though as she went to church and felt the Savior's love through the service they rendered to her. She has a baptismal date for the 23rd with Samantha. :) They are going to share that special day together before she leaves to go back to Durango, Mexico on the 1st of March. They're both coming along so well!
Along with Josephina, we also found a new investigator named Crystal this week while dissecting the area book. She is progressing very well, also! We've already had two lessons with her, she is reading the Book of Mormon, and already came to church! Which is surprising, because it seems like usually the hardest thing to get the investigators to do here is go to church, but they've been doing a great job lately! :) I love our whole teaching pool, they're great! We are also teaching a couple families that seem like they have a great foundation as well.
Speaking of church, this week was our Stake Conference. We were joined by a couple of Elders from the Quorums of the Seventy as the Stake Presidency was released and recalled. President Villegas is the new Stake President! I know that probably doesn't mean anything to you, but if you are reading this Hno Thompson, how great is that? :) He is an AWESOME leader, and I know he will do a great job serving this stake. All callings come from God, and it's a blessing to have the ability to receive that revelation from Him.
The more humorous moment of the week came as the family sitting in front of us at Stake Conference decided to take a little bunny out of their purse right in the middle of the meeting. That's right, you heard correctly, a bunny! It was the strangest thing I've seen happen yet during church haha. All us Elders were entertained and confused ha.
We also enjoyed celebrating the birthdays of Julie and Nacho Lopez this week as Laura took us all out to enjoy Red Robin together. :) It was a fun little gathering and the food was delicious! I love the Lopez Family! :)
Well, another week down, another to go! This was a pretty good week, and I look forward to this coming week. The work is hastening here in this area, and I love being a part of it. The people are just so great! I hope all is well with you, and that you have a Happy Valentine's Day! :)
-Elder Gallego
"When faced with a trial of faith-whatever you do, you don't step away from the Church! Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of your faith is like learbing the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes into view. When you are faced with a test of faith, stay within the safety and security of the household of God. There is always a place for you here. No trial is so large we can't overcome it together." Elder Neil L. Andersen (recent talk in General Conference...check it out, it's great!)