Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Hola familia!

This week was a BLAST! I have to say this has definitely been the best birthday week ever! I have loved it! The members here are just so amazing, and made me feel at home as I celebrated my birthday just about 10 times with desserts ranging from tapioca pudding to banana cupcakes to, well, cake! I was also treated to Downtown Disney by my companion as part of missionary birthday tradition, and they gave me a button and everything! I had a blast celebrating not only my birthday, but also 4th of July. There were fireworks going off everywhere, and it was a ton of fun. Thank you for all the birthday wishes, I absolutely loved them all! I attached a few of the pics from my birthday and a few of the people that shared it with me. I'll send more in another email! :) Thank you for the presents, too. They fit me so well. :) I'll be sure to attach pictures to this for you to see! :) A few missionaries let me know that they met you, Alyssa and Mom, at the mission office. Thanks for the package! :) LOVE YOU!
Other than my birthday, I feel like there is SO much that went on this week! It flew by!
Quick little sidebar...a sister in my district that is sitting next to me at the computers here in the library with the rest of our district says hi! :) Her name is Sister Ballard. She's cool.
First off, last week I ran into who I believe to be Sister Siblee's (SP?) father! A man stopped us at the 99 cent store to ask us where the syrup was the night before the 4th of July (yes, that happens often-even from members ;)), and after explaining to him that we don't work there, he looked closer and realized we were missionaries haha. He said he has a daughter married to a Siblee living in Mesa, AZ, and although he told me the first names...my mind has drawn a blank since then...so I'm not sure, but I believe I did! :) That was a cool connection.
Also, this week Azul Ramos was finally baptized! Her father straightened out everything so he could baptize her, and they invited us back to be the witnesses! It was awesome to get a surprise call and get to go back to my old ward again with Elder Facer. It was just like old times! :) It was adorable because she is so tiny, and as she was dipped under the water, she just came feet up, because she wouldn't sink ha, but all went well, and the first try was a charm. :) I was so happy for them, and it was such a great birthday blessing to get to watch another person enter the waters of baptism that I was able to teach. She is such a strong example for her family, and I know that she will continue to bring light to her wonderful family and ward. What a joy!
Another quick little sidebar...I forgot to mention to you that the sister missionary Sister Borchert asked me to look out for back in November did indeed come in January. Sister Morley! She has been in my district since she first got here, and she is tight! We are twins. :) I was looking for Grandma and Grandpa's address (found it, by the way) back in one of my old planners and ran into her name and was freaked out because I had totally forgotten to keep a look out for her, and couldn't figure out why her name was written in my planner, O_O but then I put the pieces together and found that old email from you, Mom, about her. So yep, she's here, and she's cool, too. All the members of my district here in Anaheim rock!
Well, this week was a lot of working to find more investigators. We have done all we possibly can with our current investigators, and unfortunately they are not willing to follow through with commitments, so we are in the process of searching for others to fill their spot in our teaching pool so that we really do the best we can to bring the gospel to those willing to listen and take the steps towards conversion. I know they are here somewhere...it's just a matter of finding them...or rather...being led to them. :) The Holy Ghost is true. As we studied it this last week in Gospel Principles, it really clicked with me that we are truly blessed to have a member of the GODHEAD with us. As we are baptized and are given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we can feel those blessings and guidance in our ever day lives. I testify that is true. I feel it, and I know it is what touches the hearts of those truth seekers. We have been working hard with visiting the English members in the hills, too, in order to branch out and find more Spanish speakers, and although the numbers don't add up now, I have faith that we will see a strong change soon.

I sure love this mission and all it has done to change my life. I love this area, and as the transfer comes to a close yet again (yes, it is already the end of ANOTHER transfer), I take the chance to look back on all that has happened in this area and with this ward. I am truly blessed to be in such a loving ward family right now, and although I feel I will probably be leaving this time, I appreciate all the love and support I feel and have felt here. I look forward to another transfer and another year ahead. Faith is what keeps us going. Taking that step is where it begins. :) I love you all so much, and I am so grateful to have you as my everlasting family. Thank you again for all the birthday wishes. It really was the best birthday ever...and "what better way than to spend it on a mission." I am truly blessed, and I look forward to hearing back from you soon! LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU! Cuidense!
-Elder Gallego
"Everything that happens to us leaves some trace behind; everything contributes imperceptibly to make us what we are." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
P.S. I sent a package home yesterday full of memoirs from my mission so far, could you please just set it off to the side with all my other stuff? I'll be sure to share it all with you when I get home. :) Thanks! Don't open it just yet! ;) Love you!


Hola familia!
Welcome to Cali! It is weird to think that you are really not that far from me. AHHHHH! Did you hear that? ;) I hope you enjoy your stay...and no...you will probably not bump into me ha the chances of that happening are like.......1 in 3 million. Good luck! ;) Happy Birthday, Matthew! The big 14! ;) jaja no es cierto. Espero que disfrutes tu cumpleanos de 22! Voy a disfrutarlo tambien! Esta noche tengo una cena con una de mis familias favoritas en este barrio para celebrar lo mio. ;) Espero que te guste tu regalo! Lo voy a mandar hoy! TE AMO!
Well, this week was a BUSY week, and I don't have much time today to talk about it, because today is really busy, too! We did a lot of finding and with the broadcast, the English wards have really been helping us find Spanish speaking neighbors/friends/families ans such. It is amazing to see the fire they have! Pretty much no one went to see the broadcast in our ward, but we talked to Obispo about maybe watching part of the broadcast during the 3rd hour of church because it was 5th Sunday-meaning Missionary Sunday again. He agreed and said he was thinking about it already, and the fact that we brought it up confirmed that it was something that he should do. It was a great opportunity, and we hope that it boosts up the confidence to share with the members in our ward as well. Directly after our ward, we were invited to visit the English wards up in Anaheim Hills, and they had referrals WAITING for us! It was awesome. There are a lot of members in the wards who speak Spanish, and have offered to come out. Plus, the broadcast really hit home with our ward mission leader, and he is working hard on pumping up the Spanish ward, as well...so we are looking forward to a lot of success coming from this.
Sorry I don't have much time to share this week, but this week was ultimately a good week and a lot of fun, despite the fact that it was SO hot! ha I should be used to it by now...but nope! Still sizzling ha. I look forward to the rain! :)
I hope all is well back at home, and that you are enjoying your vacation here. I love seeing all the pictures and it makes me laugh that the boys still walk with there hands up. :) So cute! I love you all so much, and thank you for the birthday wishes. My companion says he has already made plans...so we'll see where this goes. ;) LOVE YOU and talk to you later!
-Elder Gallego
"While understanding the 'what' and the 'how' of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the 'why.'" Dieter F. Uchtdorf (thanks, Rebecca! :))


Hola familia!
I loved this week! It was full of finding, and learning, and so much spiritual growth! I am so grateful for this chance I have to learn so much that I never knew before. I have a great companion right now, and we are really enjoying this time together in this area so far.
For starters, that broadcast yesterday was AMAZING! I felt the spirit so strong as the apostles of the Lord testified and provided instruction on how the organization of the work should go. I know that broadcast was straight from the Lord. It is amazing the changes we will be seeing soon. I had a brief little chat with President about it this week, and I can't wait to let you know about it all. :) The work is going to take off even more from here! I sure loved all the videos and examples of it all. I can't wait for when I get back and get to work with the full-time missionaries to find success in the ward I'll be in. :) It's so true that we are not sent out here for the ward to help us, but rather to help and strengthen the wards we are put into. I look forward to hopefully seeing some changes out here. ;) Although I'm sure maybe 2 or 3 members of our ward went to see it at the Stake Center, I am hoping Obispo can show some clips to the leaders of the ward! I am so fired up! Hope you take in what you learned and apply it as well. :)
On a quick little side note..I LOVE autistic people. There is a little autistic guy next to me right now watching rap music videos and kind of singing along/mumbling, and throwing up game signs, and busting dance moves, and getting so excited, and it is so fun and adorable. :) They bring so much light to the room! What a blessing it is to have these choice angles among us. :)
We had a few amazing moments of finding people this week that really helped to open my eyes to the importance of prayer. I came to realize this week that prayer is so fundamental in all that we do in our lives. I have been having a rough couple of weeks, and it wasn't until this one that it really clicked with me that my prayers haven't been the most effective lately. It was really perfect timing, too, because I was reading in the Liahona (Spanish Ensign/New Era/Friend) for this month and I came across the talk by Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy titled "Improving Your Personal Prayers" and I realized that there is so much for me to change! It seemed to apply so well to the investigators and less-actives we are teaching right now as well, so I went through and disected it and highlighted a ton of it and planned a lesson and learned how to apply it to me so that I could testify with power of the truthfulness of the message. It totally worked. I have seen a huge change! Not only in my actions, but my attitude. I love how he says, "listening carefully to another's prayers can reveal much about his or her relationship with God." We teaches how we can make changes in our prayers so that we are talking "with God and not at him." He also shares ways to prepare your prayers. I had never thought of that before. Preparing to pray. He says, "Prayer is spiritual work preceded by mental and spiritual preparation. If we don't take the time to humble ourselves and carefully consider that we are about to call upon God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ, we will miss the very essence of the divine pattern estabished to bless us." I really wish I could quote the whole thing because I loved it so much, but these are just some parts that really stuck out to me, and I invite you to read it and study it as well. His personal story has helped me change the way I look at trials.
All around, this was a great week, and I feel I learned SO much! I have loved the chance I have had to be out here and learn, and I look forward to applying all of this to life after the mission as well. I know that no matter where I go, I will be a missionary, and I will share all that I have learned with those around me. I have been changed forever, and I am so glad I have learned how to turn a tough moment into an opportunity to learn. I love my Savior so much, and I am so grateful to have you as a family of mine for eternity. :) Love you so much, and can't wait to hear back from you soon! Les vaya bien!
-Elder Gallego
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain." (Love this! Thanks Olivia! :))


Hola familia!
Well for starters, Happy Father's Day, Dad! I hope you had a great one. I will be sending your package soon...once I send Mom's. ;) haha I love you and am so grateful for the father you have been to me. I sure love you and have admired your example to me of a strong member of the Church and loving figure that I can always look up to. I miss that time spent with you on that special day, but in a couple years, I'll be there! :) Thank you for all you do for us, you are one AMAZING father. :) Happy Father's Day to all other fathers I know! Hope you enjoyed your's as well. :)
A couple quick little tidbits! #1- I found out this week, that Sister Allison Melchin is serving in the home ward of my current Zone Leader and grandfather (trainer of my trainer), Elder Arjona, in Spain! What a small world! It's crazy how connections can be made. :) #2- I got another hair cut, and my haircutter did it a little bit differently this time to change it up a little bit. Thought I'd show you a pic for fun. She went for more of the combover look ha, I'm now a true missionary! :)
This week was another pretty basic week. Nothing too out there, again. We kept working and looking for people to teach, but they are hiding from us! ha We just keep contacting and contacting, though!
One neat experience from our finding efforts this week was a referral we received from an English member for her neighbors. Well, technically, she gave us like 3 or 4 referrals this week, but the whole experience is as a whole. :) On Tuesday, we spent sometime contacting these referrals, and although our previous efforts resulted in not finding them, we finally taught them! These neighbors have been SO prepared with such an amazing example their neighbors have been for them. Both sides couldn't stop talking to us about how they want a happy family like their neighbor's, and how they are always so nice and wonderful. It was great. :) We have a couple return appts with them, and we are sure they will progress very well. Remember that people are always watching you when you may not think they are! Always be an example of the believers. :) 
The weeks are flying by now, and we keep working towards finding those people that are prepared to to accept the gospel. I sure love it out here, and I know that no matter what trials I go through, if I keep my faith strong and rely on the Lord, all will be well. You should watch this amazing Mormon Message that I watched this week that really has helped me as I plug through a little bit of a downer week. I know that what President Henry B. Eyring shares in this message is true. I hope you like it. :)
Mountains to Climb
Well, another week already down, time is flying by! I look forward to the week to come and finding out how I can grow even closer to my Heavenly Father and grow in my faith. I sure love it out here and wouldn't change it for anything. I hope you are finding ways to help the missionaries, and are searching for your own personal missionary opportunities. I know that as we do that, the Lord will bless us even more. I love you all so much and miss you, but with the way time is going, see you soon! ;) Love you tons, talk to you next week!
-Elder Gallego
"Be the change you want to see." Thanks Maddie! :)


Hola familia!
Well, not too many things happened this week to talk about. Elder Tidwell spent his last night with us and I was lucky enough to be with him for his last lesson taught as a missionary. :) SO SAD! But way cool at the same time. Mesa Pride. Other than that, we just kept plugging through, and we are still working with a few investigators, but we recently dropped a few as well, so we are working on repleneshing our teaching pool. We met a lot of neat people, and a few strong potentials for sure. We are excited to see how it turns out. :) We have been receiving a lot of referrals from the members of the english ward as well as we are trying to branch out and find the spanish speakers that they know as well. :) That is how we ran into a few of the hopefully future investigators. We will see. We're having a blast as we work hard in the work!
It is a whole new experience working side by side with a native. ha I don't have to teach my companions during language study anymore. He always knows the answer for any questions I have about the language. He talks a lot during lessons, too. He is a great worker, and all around, we're doing great! We sure are enjoying working hard and laughing our way through it as well. I sure love that about my companions I have had so far. We sure love laughing. :) I love it! Elder Garza and I have a lot in common, so we work hard and enjoy doing it at the same time.
I am now able to work out again, so I am SUPER excited, we have been running all week. :) I can already see the difference. I shall be skinny! ha Not that it really matters right now, but it doesn't hurt, right? ;) Feels good to be healthy. I am excited to fight back with this food! Love it, but it can be so bad for you at times... The ward is still doing great here. I don't really know what else to talk about. ha I feel like of all the weeks, this one was the most regular. Taught a lot of lessons, but no cool stories! Lame. Hopefully I will have plenty to tell you next week with all the following up we will be doing this week. :)
Since I don't have much to share this week, I wanted to share a part of an email that I received from a friend of mine that I thought was really powerful and I really appreciated it. I will leave the name out since she doesn't really know that I am doing this ha, but I hope you like it!
"So the countdown is beginning. I have two and a half weeks left of my freshman year of college. Reflecting on this last year, I am truly amazed. I have learned so much about my savior, so much about life, and so much about myself. BYU was always my dream college. Always. That was the goal I had since as long as I can remember. But just because this was my dream school, doesn’t mean that this whole last year has been a dream come true. I had thought that achieving the dream was the hardest part. I had no idea that living your dreams was even more challenging. I had no idea that figuring out why something was your dream to begin with was so soul searching. Even though things have been anything but easy for me here, I am so grateful for the opportunity I have finally found to be tested on all fronts. I have never been challenged this wholly in my entire life, and I know I would not have experienced this progression that I am experiencing here anywhere else. Even if it is a slow progression, it is development all the same.
This reminds me of the story of the Brother of Jared. He brought to the Lord concerns about how he and his people would see in the dark barges, how their path to their goals could be illuminated. So he took the time, thought out a simple plan, crafted the most perfect stones that he could, and took them to the Lord in faith. Light doesn’t just come from anything; but, if Jesus touches our finest work, light can be found in everything. I’m sure this preparation for the journey to the goal seemed like the hardest part in the Brother of Jared’s eyes. I’m sure he anticipated smooth sailing. Yet, in chapter six of Ether, we read that there were storms and winds that tossed them about and buried them in the sea. However, the most important detail is that these winds and storms were caused by God and they were pushing the people to the Promised Land at an accelerated pace.

In the last couple of months, there hasn’t been much light emanating from my works. It’s not because Jesus can’t bring light out of them, but more accurately, that maybe I was foolishly content with them remaining as really pretty rocks (which are useless and ultimately amount to much less than what the Savior could have made them into). While I know they could have been brighter, they shone just enough. We all have fears when we are facing the sea that we are to cross: maybe you get claustrophobic, sea sick, or fear getting lost. Maybe you are scared that you will get there and think, “why did I fight so hard to protect and achieve this dream?” Regardless of the fear, those stones that are touched because of our faith in Christ, provided just enough light to comfort and encourage us to enter the barges and journey on. My Book of Mormon teacher said in reference to chapter six that “those times when life is the hardest are the times when you are making the most progress.” I will be the first to admit that the difficulties I faced in the last year seemed to reap anything but progression, but I also think that this is found among all stages of life and all types of people. When you are the one sitting in the barge, you can only see to the extent of what the stone illuminates within that barge. You can’t see the barges traveling beside you. You can’t see your overall progression. And you can’t see the approaching Promised Land. At one time or another, we all will ask ourselves, “how the heck did I get in here?! Why am I in this barge?!” Using different words, I’ve asked myself this a lot. But would it be so much better if I could escape from it and hop into the raging water? Probably not. I’m guessing that it would take a lot longer to swim to the Promised Land. ;)  I’m so grateful that God is the one directing the winds and storms that beat on us. To steal the words of my professor, “God can find you wherever you are in your capacity. Then, He will stretch you reasonably.” He won’t let us drown. He won’t let us fail. He never lets us go more than one step in the wrong direction without letting us know. But we need to initiate that faith. We need Him to touch those stones. We need to get into the barge. We need to journey on. Individually, we all should be excited to find the person that God is creating through these life experiences. And those people are being developed slowly but surely."
If you are reading this right now (you know who you are), I am really grateful that you shared this with me, and I'll be responding soon. ;)
I hope eveything is going well at home. I love you all so much, and I can't wait to hear back soon! LOS AMO MUCHO!
-Elder Gallego
"When walking, as we step one foot forward, we lift the other foot up. In the same way, we should let go of yesterday and focus on today."


Hola familia!
Wow. This week was intense. A LOT of changes going on here in the mission. We have all been caught in the wave, and there's surprises over every crest. ;) It's been a blast being involved in the Lord hastening his work. I am blessed to be a missionary during this point in time.
First off, I forgot to mention a couple things last week! Congratulations to Chandler for graduating, and Happy Birthday to one of my best friends EVER, Aj. Can't wait to hear about both of yours' mission moments soon. :) I also forgot to mention that Gloria and Kevin were both confirmed last week in church on Sunday as well. It was very powerful. They are both going to stay strong in the church. I know it! Elder Parkinson and I are convinced we just aided a future Relief Society President in her baptism. :) She's solid. And Kevin...awww he is just the best! Love this ward, love the changes I get to see in people's lives. Love the mission!
For news, I have another new companion, AGAIN! Second transfer in a row with a new companion. It stinks, but at the same time, it's great! Sad because I have to say goodbye to such great companions, but great because I get to meet even more. I am sure going to miss Elder Parkinson. He and I have had a BLAST together this last transfer as we lit up Anaheim. Those embers are going to keep on going this transfer as we continue to work our hardest. Elder Parkinson was called as Zone Leader (as all expected) and I have been paired with an elder born in Mexico and from Texas. My first native companion! His name is Elder Garza. It looks like we are going to laugh a lot this transfer, just like the last, and I can't wait to see all that happens here. We are going to carry over the momentum that has been building here in Anaheim. :) We are ready to keep going, and that we will!
This week we made sure to stay busy and keep teaching until our last second together. We saw the changes coming, so we wanted to make sure we sealed the transfer with a solid week. And that we did. We found a few new investigators, and it was a blast. I swear, I have never laughed harder in my life than some of our moments together. He will be missed, but I look forward to this next transfer with just as high, if not higher expectations as the last one. I am blessed to be able to stay another transfer for sure in this ward. :)
Because pretty much everyone in the spanish program was effected by this transfer, we have been running around all over the place today to get things back in order, so I am sorry, but I don't have much time to share more inforrmation. Thank you so much for your love and support, I sure love hearing about all the fun there in Mesa! Thanks for the package, I will enjoy those Clif bars for sure, and HEY now I can brush my teeth (just kidding, I had a back-up toothbrush ;))! Keep an eye out in your ward, Alyssa. Elder Tidwell is spending the day with my companion and I and then we will be taking him to depart tomorrow morning at 6:15 (ahhhh so early!) to head home. It has been crazy watching him go through all this, and I DON'T want to go through it. ha It's so hard! But he is great, and we will be another wonderful ex-missionary addition to a ward. So tell him I say hello! I told him to look out for you (not that it'll be hard, I'm sure with Brody and Jace making themselves known constantly during sacrament meeting ha). Love you all so much, can't wait to hear more from you. Until then, cuidense!
-Elder Gallego
"I've learned that people will forget what you said...people will forget what you did...but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou (thanks Kelsi ;))


Hola familia!
Wow. This week was fantastic! These people sure do know how to thow a fiesta. ;) Before I get to that though, I want to share the WORK side of this week!
We have been staying busy finding new investigators. Our families that we found a couple weeks ago, and that had a baptismal date have not been dedicating themselves, so sadly we have had to drop them. They don't follow through with the commitments, nor have they been following through with lessons, so we were guided to drop them and search for the eager truth seekers. Let the search continue! :) We found an investigator that may end up being golden! We walked up to him on the street and he pretended to reach into his pocket to answer the phone or something, but we went for it anyways. We asked him if he has faith in Jesus Christ, and immediately, he stopped looking at his phone, looked at us, and told us, "that's exactly what I am looking for in life!" It was so cool! Inspired questions are so powerful. We invited him to church, but he didn't end up coming. We'll be stopping by this week, to see what more we can help him with. Can't wait! :)
Also, on the funnier note, we had exchanges this week, and I went with my grandpa (my trainer's trainer), Elder Arjona, to Fullerton for the day. It's funny because not only was it ironic that I was with my grandfather, but also, he is from Madrid, Spain! So, he has the natural Spaniard accent. Well, guess what. He told me that I speak just like a Spaniard, too...minus the "theta" that they speak with. ha And every house we went to that day pretty much told me the same thing, and assumed we were both from Spain. It cracked me up, because this came out of nowhere! Funny moment. It was a blast, and we taught some AMAZINGLY powerful lessons with members. Love it! We had a neat experience with an inspired question as well. We came to the door of a lady, and she was having a hard time, and we asked her "if God were here right now, what would you ask him?" She started crying and explained to us about how her brother was going through a really hard time, too, and how she really needed something to help their families. It was special. Can't wait to hear about her progression. :)
Other than that, this week was FULL of service opportunities, and I loved it! Service is a great way to find new people to teach, and really build the trust between the members and missionaries of the ward. Especially with less-actives. I love to serve. :)
Now back to the fiesta! Yesterday was one of the coolest days in my mission! Once a year, the whole Spanish stake gets together in this huge park in Irvine and celebrates La Helotada-roughly translated means Corn Festival. All these members get together, play games/sports, and cook a ton of food-the main focus being helote. If you've seen Nacho Libre before, helote is the stuff Esteven loves! :D It's basically corn-on-the-cob with mayo, parmesan cheese, and chili powder and it is SOOOOOOO good! So we enjoyed some of that, and then spent the rest of the day playing sports with the members...I spent all day playing volleyball with them. It was a blast. It got so heated sometimes, but in a fun way. My team dominated! I had some awesome saves, and, of course, some awesome fails...but all around I played pretty well! I swear that since coming out here in the mission field, for some reason, I have become more athletic. Cracks me up, because I don't know where that came from either! All around, I had a great day, although, as you can see in the picture, I got TORCHED! ha Can't wait for next year. :)

This week was a wonderful week, and we are going to power through this week-it being the last one of the transfer. Elder Parkinson and I are having a blast, but we know where are tons of changes coming up soon for sure, so we are going to make it the best week yet, and have more fun than ever-laugh harder than we ever have...if possible. He's awesome! ;) Can't wait to see what God has be do next! I love the mission, and I love the work! Love you so much, love hearing about what's going on back home, and can't wait to hear back, soon! :) Los amo mucho!
-Elder Gallego
"Accept change. It's full of surprises you won't want to miss." 


Hola familia!

Whew! This week was amazing! I know I start off every week the same way, but it's simply because every day is AMAZING out here! I love it so much, and I love being a part of such a huge growth right now. I am blessed everyday, and I realize it. :)

For starters, as you can see by the pictures attached, the baptisms of Gloria and Kevin went really well yesterday. There were SO many people! We were so happy to see so many ward members show up to support them, because although a lot of family members came for Kevin's baptism, not one came for Gloria's. Can you believe that? Not one of her family members came to support her special day. It was sad. She is so amazing though, and did not let her family members not agreeing with it stop her. Obispo did an amazing job when he stood up to speak and bear his testimony, though, when he told her to look around and see the new family that she has now to support her in her growth in the church. :) It's so true! We are one big happy family, and we are all here to support one another once we become members of the church, as it explains is Mosiah 18:8-11. I love this ward, and I love this church.

Also, this week we had Zone Conference! I loved it. :) We had a few great talks shared, and we received great training from the Assistants. I am really going to be sad when one of them goes home this transfer. :( They do a really good job together, and I always look forward to learning from them. They taught us all about planning and how important it is to involve the ward so that our investigators are not only growing in the doctrine side of the gospel, but also the social side of the gospel. I feel like our members are doing a wonderful job of that. It feels so good to have investigators come to church and not worry about them not feeling comfortable or not knowing where to go, but rather having a member jump right in to help them out. Love it. :)

Sister Bowen also gave wonderful talk about Spiritual Crocodiles. I am sure you have heard about it before, but she related her talk to Elder Bednar's talk. We watched a little clip about the story from Elder Bednar about a guy that was traveling in Africa and was told not to leave the gates of the compound. He disobeyed and left, thinking that all would be fine, he would just go exploring. Little did he know that hidden in the water hole that he went to walk through was a crocodile. It's a sad story to hear about, but it is true. It showed a couple more clips of animals that are timid and nervous to approach water because they are afraid crocodiles are lurking, awaiting to catch their thirsty prey. All of this is then related to spiritual crocodiles we have today. Although things we do in life, at times may seem normal and harmless...if we aren't careful and don't pay attention to what we are really doing, we may get caught in the trap of a spiritual crocodile. I love this talk because it really helps us and warns us to understand that although sins may feel good when we do it, the spiritual, and sometimes physical, damage can be immensely difficult to overcome. I sure hope that we can all avoid the pitfalls of Satan and his spiritual crocodiles as we strive to do our best and follow Heavenly Father. I love you so much, and I am so glad to be able to know of this knowledge. It's through the wonderful power of this gospel, that we are prepared to avoid these dangers. I hope all is well with you, and I pray that you can avoid the spiritual crocodiles of life as well. It is all worth it in the end. I testify of that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Gallego

"You can make excuses or you can go out and make a difference."


Hola familia!
Holy wow, this week was amazing! :) Not only was I able to see you and talk to you all, but we were nice and busy working on the final preparations for Gloria's and Kevin's baptism. They are both so prepared, and we were so happy to hear that Gloria has completely given up her coffee and says she will never be going back, just like that! She came to church with her less-active brother in law and loved it as usual. She even signed up for dinner on our calendar and we had dinner with her and finished sharing the message of the Plan of Salvation with a member with us. It was wonderful, she already acts like a member. :) I am so happy to see the change the message is making in the lives of those we are teaching.
One special moment that happened this week (which I already told you about over Skype, but I want to share it again) came as we finally got a chance to do some door knocking after a solid three weeks of pure contacting of referrals and set lessons. It was BLAZING hot (just like today) and we weren't really in the mood to knock doors because of the heat, but we bucked it up and set out to tear it up anyways. :) The first door we knocked on, no one answered, but on the second door, Lorena answered. Lorena is awesome. She is so prepared! At first she was very stand offish, and wouldn't accept anything that we were saying because she is tired of people shoving their opinions about religion down her throat, but as we explained to her that we aren't here to convince people of anything, but to help them find the answer from God, she really started to open up. Seriously, everything she said was what you can find in the church, whether it was about her family being happy, to moral standards, to safety, it all just fit; and she just wants a church that makes her feel spiritually full, that isn't a bunch of chanting and shouting, and that even has a book that is easier to understand than the Bible, but that is still inspired of God (perfect, right?;)) etc. She wants to know which church is true. After asking her if she believes that Heavenly Father can answer that question, and assuring her that we are there to help her communication with God, she totally opened up, accepted a Book of Mormon, and wants to go to church and hear more. We're super excited to go back to teach her this week!
One of the many funny little moments that kind of caught me off guard and made me laugh this week was last night when we visited Gloria and Hno Olivares was talking to us about accents, and told me I have a Spanish accent...as in I speak like a someone from Spain. HAHA! It's really in my blood! YAY, Gallego! I don't really understand how, but hey, I'll take any accent, seeing as he told my companion that he has a gringo accent. ;) Spanish Blood.
The miracles continue out here, and I can't even keep track of them all. As the whole District went on a hike together today to the peak of the nearby mountain (still in our huge area ha), we contemplated the blessings we have felt so far being out here. It was amazing to let loose a little and rejuvenate. We felt great, because we had the amazing opportunity to talk with our families yesterday; which, surprisingly enough, do the opposite of making you homesick, it is just enough to boost you and make you want to do even better! It's perfect, and not only were we (pretending we) were on top of the world on our hike to the peak of the mountain, but we felt it metaphorically too with all the success that God has given us lately. I sure love this area and ward, and I look forward to more time here with this amazing District.
I loved talking with you yesteday familia, and I love you so much, but I hope all is well with you and I look forward to continuing to hear from you. Please keep Gloria and Kevin in your prayers that all continues to go well this week as they prepare for their baptisms on Sunday. Love you all so much, stay safe!
-Elder Gallego
"To get what you've never had, you must do what you've never done."


Hola familia!

Holy cow, where to start?! First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mom! I am so grateful for all that you have done for me. You are such an amazing mother, and I thank my Heavenly Father daily for such amazing parents that I love so much. :) Also, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to you, Grandma Pat, Grandma Meo, Grandma Miller, and Grandma Gallego, and to ALL other mothers out there! I wish I could call you all by name, but you know who you are. ;) LOVE YOU!

I am so overwhelmed with how much success we have seen this week, I can't even type it all out. We are finding like crazy, the word members are doing AMAZING at supporting us, and we have so much more to do! I haven't even had a time to sit down and think about it ha we have been working ourselves into the ground, and I am loving it! My companion and I are SO tired, but we can't stop. ha

We found a few families this week, and we went from 2 people at the beginning of this week with baptismal dates to 9! We have 6 people preparing for baptism on the 19th in our ward/district, and we are so pumped for it! I can't even take it all in. There is so much work to do, there is no down time. I love it! 

The cool story I wanted to share last week, but didn't have time to was about Corina. We were doing our laundry on P-Day, just like normal. She is usually running around all over the place taking care of things because she owns it. She was walking by and asked us how we were doing today, and for some reason I had a feeling (now knowing it was a spiritual impression) that I should respond in Spanish, so I did! ha She immediately stopped in her tracks, stared at me, and was like "hablas espanol?!" She was completely caught off guard that two tall white boys just spoke to her in her native language haha. Next thing we know, we are engaged in a full-blown conversation about the gospel, because she wanted to know why we spoke Spanish. I was awesome! We really need to be prepared in every situation. Now she is an investigator, and we will be meeting with her again this week, since she was not able to meet last week. She calls us her angelitos guapos ha because she is going through so much, and we testified to her about how this message will help her so much. It's so true! She is over excited to hear more. :)

Also, Perla, the one I told you about last week, now has a baptismal date for the 2nd of June, after a VERY powerful lesson with Obispo Cerda. He is amazing! It's neat because he is an ex-missionary, so he already knows the lessons and how to teach, so we don't need to worry about him! He also is fully bilingual, so we don't have to worry about running into English speakers with him either, which totally happened the other night. The house where Perla lives is full of people wanting to change their life because it is a sober-living home. So we passed another person we met and shared a powerful message with with Bishop to the English elders again. So much work! 

Well, as much as I would love to tell you about all of the success we have seen this week, I don't have time to fit it all into one email, so I look forward to sharing these awesome stories with you when I get back from the mission, and also on Sunday when I finally get to talk to you again! :) Can't wait! Mom, Happy Birthday again, and be sure to look out for your package in the mail. Wait until your birthday to open it! ;) LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Hope all is well. Keep working hard!

-Elder Gallego

"When you feel like you don't have a choice (not one, not any) remember, you always get to choose your attitude." Eat Your Peas