Monday, June 23, 2014

6/23/14


Hola familia!

What a fun-packed last couple weeks! There was literally no time to
email last week because of all that happened last P-Day. So, sorry for
that, but I will keep you updated.

For starters, I danced on Monday. O.O It was weird! But completely
legal. Here's the thing, the Bowens are leaving on the 26th to return
home...:(...sooooo, naturally, we had to throw a surprise party—well,
in this case, a great, big Lu'au! It was the first time in all of
their time here that the whole mission from all language programs was
together. It was a big deal! We're talking tiki torches, leis, hula
dancing, the whole shebang! The Polys even cooked a pig! (Check the
pics below!) it was awesome. So, there is this awesome sister in the
Samoan program named Sister Rowe, and she got a hold of the leaders of
all the programs and had us prepare something. And—this is where I
come in—we even put on a show. We did a Latin dance off, it was super
random...the music wasn't even really Hispanic, but it worked. I had
Elder Thorne (ah, my best pal!) video it, so I'll show you when I get
home. They said we may all be getting a DVD off it all, too. There was
everything from the Tongan Hakka—which is terribly invigorating in
real life—to President Bowen attempting to teach a mock ASL lesson to
Vietnamese dancing. It was so hilarious and fun! And Sister Rowe made
it all happen—she has major respect in my book, cause it was awesome!
Not only that, she organized a mission-wide scrapbook so we all got to
give them a note and pics and whatnot. Which brought me to the
realization—I didn't have ANY pics with President and Sister Bowen :(.
So, I definitely took advantage of the chance at the Lu'au (once
again, to the pics below), and Sister Bowen even let me give her a
hug! :) Shes just so great! It was a blast, and we all took lots of
pics, especially Elder Thorne and I haha...and we also got a picture
of all the people that served in the Anaheim district in the time I
was there...SO many! Ha The Lu'au was a complete success! Great way to
finish off with the Bowens...and...well...me...kind of...ha When they
got up at the end to share their thoughts, there wasn't a dry eye in
the room. It is so sad it's coming to an end, but they have served
very well and we will miss them very much.

Elder Weymouth, my buddy since the beginning went home, too, along
with a lot of others. The beginning of "the wave" leaving. So that was
a sad goodbye, but we will for sure be back together after the
mission, he's awesome!

Also this last Monday was transfers! Drum roll please............I'm
back to where I started! Ha Santa Ana 5 to die! It was hard leaving
Santa Ana 10 after only being there 3 months, but get this, one of the
members gave me her father's guitar from Guatemala! Under normal
circumstance, we can't have musical instruments, but I am just going
to give it to a member to take care of it until when I come back. So
cool. It needs to be restored, but I was so thrilled! She was a
wonderful lady—I just love Hna Garcia! It was hard, but I'm so glad I
am ending in a ward I already know.

I was released as a ZL :(, but I saw it coming because of my final
interview I had with a President Bowen (love him). I needed to renew
my temple recommend because we are going to be lucky enough to go to
the temple once more before I go and slipped in a "departing
interview" since the new mission president won't really know me. He
told me that he had one more assignment before I go home—to help out a
struggling missionary in my zone. So, when he told me that, I knew
that I was going to be released, but because of the situation we had
as ZLs, one of us had to be released and there were a couple that were
just called, so I guess it made the most sense. Oh well, but it's nice
to have time to go out and work a lot now! :) So much time I have
missed for...well just about a year and a half now that I have either
been with a leader or been a leader myself. Now that I don't have all
the meetings and errands to run, it's been nice getting back onto the
front lines again. Although I learned so much in the background, I
think this will be an excellent opportunity to finish off strong! I
can feel it!

So, that being said, I can see how my companion needs help and this
area is really struggling (although there was a baptism today! :)),
but I love him and I can tell we are going to have a good time. He is
just still very young, but I hope I can at least leave some of my
knowledge behind. ;) Meet Elder Sorensen! 6' 8" tall! That's right,
I'm back to the van once again! Back to being soccer mom. Haha It's
fun though, all the district bonding—now that everyone else in our
district is on bike, we're the transport! We've already had some good
times. Gotta keep making memories!

Ugh, I'm rambling on BAD...sorry, but there was just so much that
happened! So continuing on...

As far as things going on back home, congratulations Chandler for
finally getting out here! :) I'm so excited to hear all about your
crazy stories! Doesn't matter which coast you come from, both are full
of crazies! Ha You will be an excellent Elder, just remember the words
of President Hinckley's dad when he was in the mission field..."Forget
yourself and go to work!" Nothing better, that's for sure! You're
going to do great things!

Also, congrats to Matthew and Ashley on finally getting that baby out
of there! Any longer and she would have walked out herself! Ha She's
adorable! Definitely has your cheeks, Ashley ha, but I can totally see
you in her, too, Matthew. She's looks like a beautiful little angel,
and I'm excited to see her soon. :)

Sorry I wasn't able to write about Father's Day, but that is why I
took a chance to post what I did on Facebook. I really am grateful for
you, Dad. It truly is a blessing to have you as a father and
protector. I sure do love you and love all the memories I have of you.
Although we don't have as many as we would want since I am a total
Momma's Boy, I look forward to all the plans we have together for when
I get home! :) Love you, and Happy Father's Day once again!

Well, now that I have just written a complete novel (sorry), just
wanted to end with thanks to all who have been supporting me
throughout my whole mission.......and that still even read these. Haha
As I go into my last transfer here, the time ticks away and the next
think I know, one more week has come and gone. It's going too fast!
It's funny because the closer I get to the end, the less and less
trunky I get! I just want to get out and work all the time and I have
even more of a desire to share my testimony, and I can feel the spirit
even stronger...it's just all coming together. I feel like the Curious
Case of Benjamin Button—my greenie fire is back! :) I've had time to
reflect on this all, and I am just so amazed at how far I have come.
Before, I would testify because I knew it's what I was supposed to do,
but now I can really feel it, and it feels really good. We had one
lesson this week that was just so heartfelt, that I choked up a little
explaining the blessings I have seen in my life and the life of our
family. I just marvel at the power of this gospel and Atonement and
the power to change. My heart aches to hear about the devastating loss
of the Baker family's son, but what a blessing it is that we can be
families forever. Although it may seem like a while to see our loved
ones again after this life, I know that this life is just "a blink of
an eye in the timelessness of eternity" and we will once again be
reunited with our loved ones, thanks to the merciful blessings that
come to us through the temple because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice. I
have changed immensely, and I am forever grateful for all I have
learned and continue to learn. Thank you for believing me and helping
me make it. I will keep going strong up until the very end, and I hope
you all do the same in whatever it is you are going through. Don't
ever give up! I sure love you and hope you're all safe and well. Have
a great week!

-Elder Gallego

"Remember, repentance is not punishment. It is the hope-filled path to
a more glorious future." Elder Richard G. Scott

6/9/14


Hola familia!

Whew! This week was ROUGH! But it's all good, I'm getting through it.
The area has kind of plateaued and we are still finding new people,
but for right now they aren't choosing to progress. It's a little
frustrating, but just like someone shared with me recently, we can't
change their own decisions. It's still only up to them. I've always
understood that, but I guess I just want to make sure that I really am
doing all I can. I know that as things wrap up here, Satan is going to
give his last ditch effort to make me doubt and regret, but I feel
that I have spent my whole mission preparing for this moment. He's not
going to win!

I spent a lot of time this week internally battling and focusing on
the negative things. He sure was fighting hard! But, ultimately, as I
look back, I see that there were many fun moments that happened to
keep me happy. Fear ends where faith begins. Faith has been my
absolute favorite thing to study lately. There is so much power in
faith. Understanding that we can't just say we have faith. We need to
show it. Faith is about knowing AND doing. God prepared me well the
last couple weeks to get me ready for this, and now I feel great. :)

There were good highlights this week. We had a lot of meetings this
week, but they were great. We had Mission Council with President and
Sister Bowen for the last time this week, and the spirit was super
strong. It opened my eyes to many more possibilities that I would like
to continue doing for my studies after my mission. It was my favorite
mission council yet. They have such a passive but powerful way of
teaching. We also had Stake Reports with the Stake President, and it
was different than usual. He took advantage of how old all of us are
(all zone leaders are dying next transfer ha) and talked to us about
being dedicated and committed. It was a great lesson, too. Very
inspiring and we all got down on our knees and committed ourselves to
keep going to the end. The Spirit was super strong and it really
helped me out to remain focused. Just like dad shared with me in that
email, this whole time there was beauty in the midst of destruction.
During my hard times, The Lord has always been there for me providing
opportunities to feel strength. Sure do love the blessings this gospel
brings.

We had a few good laughs this week, too. On Thursday, after we grabbed
some Panda for lunch/dinner since we wouldn't be back in for the rest
of the night and we were out and about, Elder Ramirez decided for the
first time (he says) he's ever done it, he refilled his drink and
brought it with him. Well, Elder Ramirez is a pretty clumsy guy....ha
As we were pulling out of the parking lot, he was putting his drink
back and the lid popped off and as he tried to stop it, he squeezed
the cup and root beer went shooting everywhere, but not on him...on
me. -_- It. Went. Everywhere. Ha All over the shifter, the cup
holders, the seats, the GPS, the steering wheel, my
pants...everywhere. Ha I got lucky, though! I wasn't wearing the pants
I just got. :) I wasn't even mad, I just laughed...SO hard. It was
hilarious, and he started freaking out ha. We didn't have napkins or
wipes or anything, so I just had to drive to the church stuck to the
steering wheel. I was laughing really hard because the way he acts
when we messes up is so funny. Ultimately, we spent the afternoon at
the Toyota dealership because it broke the plastic pieces in the
shifter ha. Good times.

And later that afternoon I got to go on our last exchanges with my
buddy of the mission, Elder Weymouth. He got called to Assistant in my
third transfer as district leader, and now that I'm zone leader, we
were able to go on exchanges, :). It was a lot of fun and we had a
good time teaching. He's great, and has truly been a great friend. He
dies in a week. :( I will miss him, but I'm definitely going to visit
him in Idaho.

I also had the wonderful opportunity to talk in church this week.
Obispo asked me to base my talk off the talk by Elder Neil L. Andersen
in the past conference about spiritual whirlwinds. I loved the
comparison he about the trees growing up in strong winds and how that
relates to the temptations of the adversary. I quoted the experience
that dad sent me and everyone said they liked it, especially that
part, so thanks, Dad! :)

I hope all goes well this week. Chandler, have a great time at the CCM
(Mexico MTC), and remember to work hard! I pray all goes well
welcoming Aria into the world. I look forward to seeing everyone
again. Love you all and hope you have a great week! Love you!

-Elder Gallego

6/2/14

Hola familia!

The last two weeks have been a roller coaster! (DejavĂș?) The week
before last was a pretty normal week full of work. We stayed busy and
had a lot of lessons and people to teach. However, this last week,
Elder Ramirez through out his back and we had to take a break for a
couple days because he could barely move. We had to move some
appointments, but on top of that, there are a few people who decided
to drop us. :( It's been an interesting week, and I slipped a little
into a rut again, but I pounded faith into my head this week and had a
phenomenal study about trusting in God. I know I just posted something
about faith on my Facebook (Faithbook haha, get it?), but I just love
learning about faith right now. Gospel Principles yesterday was even
about faith! It was a great eye-opening week.

Also, the reason why I didn't get an email to you last week is because
I spent all day at the...drum roll...Elotada! So much fun! Not the
same as last year, because there weren't as
many people, but it was still a lot of fun to see familiar faces
again. :) Didn't play volleyball the whole day this time, but I still
got torched! Haha Sure sign of the Elotada. Of course, the Elote was
bomb and I was loving it. Food!

Speaking of food, I finally went on exchanges with the Peruvian elder
here in my district. We spoke Spanish the whole exchange....I never
thought I'd be able to do that before my mission. 24 hours of just
Spanish. It was embarrassing how bad my English was after that ha. Now
what does that have to do with food? Well, we got permission from the
Assistants to visit the Peruvian Sanchez family from Anaheim!!! He got
to finally meet them at the Elotada and they told us to come eat with
them if we ever went on exchanges ha....SO I got to go home! It was
great. He was in heaven - he missed his Peruvian food so much. So did
I, so it was great to see my Peruvian family ha. SO good!

Patty is doing amazing. She is my favorite right now ha (is it wrong
to pick favorites?). She is progressing really well and we are working
with her right now to like going to church. She sent us a message
yesterday that she honestly loves everything else, but doesn't like
going to church right now. We feel she would like it better in
English. She speaks both perfectly, but speaks more English with us,
so we will see. Please pray for her. She is the most progressing right
now. Please continue to keep the rest in your prayers, though. It's
going, but we are in the process of finding again. We found a part
member family that seems to have a lot of potential. We'll see!

Cool quick story this week. The Sisters in Santa Ana got food
poisoning, so we went to give them a blessing. Come to find out later,
after the blessing, apparently one of the Sisters had a bad toe injury
from the Elotada that she only told her companion about. Well, in the
blessing, I said that she'd be healed from head the toe. It was the
first time I've ever used those words, and I actually noticed when I
said it because it was a stomach sicknesses. Well, since the blessing
she hasn't had a problem! Super cool. The Holy Spirit truly does
guide.

Now to finish off (symbolism that this is the last thing on my mind
right now ha), a lot have been asking when I am coming home. My plane
arrives at around 11am on July 29th. Weird. Thank you, Alyssa, for
pointing out it's next month. Haha Still seems like forever away.
Sweet! I've got time! Ha Love you all very much and hope you are well.
Take care!

-Elder Gallego

"Faith is not believing that God can, it's knowing that He will."

5/19/14

Pics!
#1- New haircut and California shirt!
#2- Mom! You're on our Mother's Day board for the month of May in the
office! :) I look like a ghost...so white!
#3- Candid pic that Elder Curtis snapped on the spot!
#4- See you in two, buddy!!
#5- #webefly
#6- I have my own personal chef! Elder Ramirez cooks for me....and
it's delicious! And healthy. :)
#7- Called to Serve.



Hola familia!

This week was....awkward? Ha Not really sure how to state it. It was a
good week, but not in the expected areas, and then in the expected
areas, it kind of tanked again. I don't know, I feel like a see saw
right now. I don't have my sea legs quite yet in this area - good
think my companion is patient.

It was a normal work week, but we had a lot of success in finding this
week. We've struggled with that lately, but the people we visited
actually seemed to have good potential. A few people Elder Curtis and
I were teaching, or that we're being taught before I came here, that
disappeared popped up again. It's exciting! We have a pretty full pool
of people to teach right now, but a lot of them have hit the fork in
the road and can't make a decision on what it is they would like to
do. The unfortunate part is that they are not counseling with God
about it.

For starters, Henry Guadarrama was going to be baptized yesterday, but
five minutes before his interview on Saturday, he sent us a text
saying he isn't ready. That he loves the church, but feels like he
needs to go to church for a year before he makes this step. We've
tried explaining that baptism is the beginning as is states in Moroni
8:25, but he told us he has made up his mind. We are still going to
teach them, but we are going to try even harder to get the whole
family involved. Daniel wants to get baptized so bad, but his mom
won't let him. So sad. We have an appointment with the whole family on
Tuesday this week, though, so please pray that goes well! We really
need the mom, Rosalba, to be in board so that their family can have
these blessings. They could really use them right now. Great family,
but they need to trust more in God.

Also, Ely basically has disappeared. She came to church last week and
all, but she said that she did it to make her sister happy. She said
she doesn't have desires to learn anymore. Breaks my heart. She was so
close, and it was going to be something SO good for her and her
family. She was being such a great example and always looked so happy
at church. Apparently her sister, Leti and her husband told her not
to. That confused us because Leti wanted to get baptized a while ago,
but her husband wouldn't let her. So now she is against the church.
Doesn't really make sense, but Maria (the one active member in the
family) said that she is going to church with them now. I was so sad
leaving that house. Hopefully a miracle happens and that house turns
back around. The mom needs to come back to church before anything
happens.

We found a great lady, Rosario, though! She has had a great example
shown to her from the members here. She knows a few from school and is
very impressed by the teaching skills of none other than Elder Acosta.
He is the Area Seventy that loves here in this wars and is a teacher
at her children's elementary school. She is solid. She is going
through a hard time right now... Her father is going to surgeries down
in Mexico right now, and he is very old, so he is not in the best of
condition. She said she was going to take her family to church
yesterday but didn't show up and didn't answer her phone, so we hope
nothing happened with her dad. Please keep him in your prayers, as
well!

All around, it was a pretty good, awkward week. Ha I mean, on the
bright side, I did get to see Chandler! :) Sorry I was so awkward and
quiet, I didn't know what to do! Ha I was COMPLETELY caught off guard,
and what made it even worse was that my president was in the office. I
didn't know what to do. So, don't think I wasn't super excited to see
you, just had to play it cool and it still feels like a dream. My mind
can't take it in. It didn't even feel like 2 years without you! It
gave me a horrifying glimpse of coming home. Awkward. Ugh. Haha

We also had our Zone Conference and it was really good! I conducted my
first meeting! Well, that type of meeting. I slayed it, needless to
say (ha so humble). The spirit was very strong and I wanted to cry! It
was mine and the Bowen's last Zone Conference. Sure will miss them. I
spoke with President and talked him into he and I having an interview
right before I leave for my "temple recommend" a.k.a. departing
interview ha. I love my mission so much. Sometimes I forget about how
amazing this experience has been for me because I am ungrateful at
times, but I remind myself at the end of the day to count my
blessings. Work work work. There is no substitution. Love you all very
much! Hope you're doing well. Take luck!

-Elder Gallego

5/12/14

Elder Ramirez and I!!
Hola familia!

It was so great to see all your wonderful smiling faces yesterday. I
love you all very much and sure love having such an amazing family. I
know it is the gospel that has truly transformed this family from
where we used to be and I am so glad that we will be an eternal
family. Skyping was so much fun! I didn't take a screenshot like I
wanted to :(. New plan, I will call you tomorrow, get back together,
and we will get a picture. Haha I wish. Miss you and love you, but see
you soon!

The last couple weeks have been nothing short of a nauseous roller
coaster, as it can be at times. Ha It wasn't this time that so much
happened, but rather that so much DIDN'T happen. Agency is the
darnedest thing. Just wish people would follow the revelation they
receive and let the spirit talk to them. There are so many blessings
in store. Just try it. SO, Ely, Daniel, Henry, Heidi, Guadalupe,
Maria, Edid, etc are all fence sitting right now. They have committed
to change, but now we have done as much as we can and it is up to
their personal decisions and desires to follow through with it. We
will still be working with them, but we will be focusing this week on
finding more people to work with as well.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We are going to work
hard! The week before last, Elder Curtis and I were having a hard time
that everything fell through again for the second time in a row, and
as we were working on brushing off and pushing forward, I actually
shared Dad's email! It really brought the Spirit and lifted us. I want
to include some of it. I felt it was inspiration directly to me for a
reason. Just when I thought I got through the hard week and that the
email should have come earlier, that week hit, and I know it was
perfect timing. Thanks Dad! This is what he shared with me...

"Elder G!

"So sounds like your week may have been a little spicy with some
hurdles to overcome? So you just have to say, OK and press forward
doing what you know is right. It will not always be easy (as you know)
and it is not always as clear to those we teach as it is to us. Part
of being a good teacher/leader is to be an empathetic listener. It can
really be tough to walk in someone else’s shoes but you have to try to
understand people you communicate with in that way.

"One thing I have noticed throughout the years is that a persons'
perspective of things is so unique. For instance, look at politics.
Probably the biggest example of difference of opinions next to
religion, but religion is a belief that tends to be faith driven. With
politics, people can make decisions based on evidence that is more
material in nature. Religion may seem that way at times for those of
us with a strong testimony but for someone who is new in the Gospel
there are many issues because of the foundation of ones' faith. It
probably get pretty doctrinally deep as you start to peel back the
layers but bottom line is you need to do your best to help support the
foundation of faith by teaching the truth - and the Spirit will do the
rest. Words can be powerful and tend to convince people in the moment
but when that spiritual support leaves, many times so does that
persons interest in seeking the truth. Out of sight, out of mind.

"So what do we do you may ask?...

"...I can remember when Matthew was struggling after being caught
using marijuana and drinking. We took him away from his peers and went
to the cabin for some time away. He was very humble at the time having
confessed and entered into the process of repentance. We jumped on our
mountain bikes at the cabin and rode up to the top of the hill behind
Cheney Ranch. When we reached the top, we got off our bikes and looked
around. This was an area the the Rodeo-Chediski Fire burned thru and
devastated years before. There were blackened and gnarled trees and
ground everywhere. As we looked over the view, I asked Matthew what he
saw. He described the view on the horizon and the blackened landscape.
Then I asked him to look a little closer…'what do you see?' I asked.
His response was adding more detail to the surrounding carnage and the
depth of destruction. His perspective was of the magnitude of what had
taken place there. He was feeling beaten at the time so he had a
negative perspective of things.

"Then I told him what I could see. All around us, between the jagged
trees and blackened earth, there was a blanket of new growth. Grasses,
ferns, trees, and other life that was green and rich looking in
contrast to the burned out landscape. In the midst of death, there was
life. In the presence of destruction, there was beauty.

"We could probably spend hours discussing various thoughts and
analogies with this perspective but the one I wanted you to focus on
is how through the presence of destruction, there was beauty. In the
midst of our trials, there is always life - there is always beauty -
the Savior. Its up to us what we see. Will we concentrate on the old
or will we focus on the new? Do we get caught up in what we may
perceive as failure of do we just step up and press forward? Its so
easy to get caught up in what we see as defeats and forget what is
good all around us.
You have and are continuing to do a great work in the sight of God. No
matter what you may think, there is always a reason to rejoice in the
midst of failure. Stay strong and press forward. The Lord needs you to
give your all and see the beauty all around you. Teach others to
recognize and feel the Spirit so they can see the beauty for
themselves...

"Dad"

I truly believe that was guided counsel from the Holy Ghost to me
through Dad. I just love that email. I saved it. :)

This last week, Elder Curtis was transferred...lame! We were working
so hard, but only got one transfer together. I hate when that happens!
I am still kind of lost here since we were SO busy last transfer that
we didn't have much time to get to know the members, however, I am
still super excited for this transfer. My new companion is Elder
Ramirez from Chile! I love working with natives ha. I am going into
this transfer seeing the beauty. I love this kid! We have been
following each other our whole mission. Ha It's going to be a lot of
fun and we are going to work hard!

Once again, Happy Birthday and Mother's Day, Mom! It sure was great to
talk to you all yesterday and I hope you continue to do well. Love you
so much! Take care!

-Elder Gallego

"If you can't bring them to baptism, try to bring them to a place of
greater faith." Elder Neil L. Andersen

5/5/14

Birthday Wishes from the Santa Ana East Zone of the California Anaheim
Mission!!!!!!!! :)
video

5/1/14

Pic1- Guadalupe right before she left :(
Pic2- Taqueria Don Pancho - Ely's dad's restaurant. Tacos de carne asada. yummmmmmmm
Pic3- Road trip to Long Beach for my last Dr. Appt. Woo!
Pic4- Good times. :)
Pic 5- Sister Corona is back! She is the coolest sister missionary. She was the one that left back in Anaheim, but she is back to finish up! So cool, she is a great missionary.
Hola familia!

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISSA!!! It was fun to watch everything pop
up on Facebook. You are such a great example to so many people and I
love you very much. You are my favorite sister! ;) I wanted to comment
so bad on things that were being posted, but unfortunately that is
against the rules. :( So, I liked it all instead! haha You are an
amazingly loving daugher, mother, sister, and friend. I just love you
so much! Ahh! Best sister in the world award goes to you for sure. :)
And the most beautiful. ;) Love you Sis.

There's a lot that has happened these last couple of weeks! The P-Day
was changed for a Mormon Helping Hands service project that we were
going to have, but it wasn't approved by the correct authority before
they went into the planning. So, we were told Wednesday that it was
cancelled because there were possible legal issues that could be
involved. It was a service project to help people gain citizenship and
we got trained on how to help fill out the paperwork on Monday, but
because of the complexities in law in that area, our presiding general
authority from the Seventy pulled the plug. The missionaries were
basically signed up without approval. Ha Maybe later!

So the P-Day change was pretty pointless, but now it will be a super
quick P-Day on Monday with everything already done. Ha

This last week was actually a pretty rough week. Not that we are upset
or anything, things just didn't go as planned, but in the long run, it
all makes sense why things went the way they did. Somehow there was
credit card fraud on my mission card, Guadalupe ended up telling us
the following day that she didn't feel ready and had some doubts about
it, Ely didn't talk to us all week so apparently she wasn't sure about
it either, Daniel's mom won't give him permission, Henry didn't feel
certain quite yet between this church and Jehovah's Witness, and
Heidi's situation is a lot more complicated than we had imagined. This
week had a lot of twists. And it wasn't even until the end that we
looked back and saw all the things that went on. We just kept plugging
along and knew that God has a plan for each of them. No matter what
Satan throws at them, I know that each one of them will remember their
special answers and be baptized soon.

The way we think about it, is that there always seems to be some sort
of "Pogo Stick Effect" that goes one as one prepares to be baptized.
So, although this was a down week for the investigators and no one got
baptized as they had planned and prepared for, but just like a Pogo
Stick, they are bouncing back up this week, and we are able to focus
on each personal need better. :)

So we prepared Guadalupe for the missionaries to pick her right up and
help her prepare to be baptized in Pasadena. She really likes the
values of the church, and the feelings she feels being there. She
needs to be a little more willing to act on her answers, but she is
doing well, and we are going to stay in touch. She wanted me to
baptize her because I was the first one to talk to her once she got
here, but alas, she will have to make a connection with someone there.

Ely got scared as it got closer to baptism and began to doubt because
her father isn't a member and she works for him and she didn't have
Sundays off. She didn't want to commit to something that she knows she
won't be able to follow through with. What a great concern! Better
that than going through with it and then dropping away immediately.
She got up the guts towards the end of the week though and confronted
her dad about it and he gave her Sundays off right away. ha She just
needed to ask! :) So, she is now off on Sundays, and she came to a
baptism of another investigator in the ward this past Sunday and felt
guilty for not getting baptized then. So, she is set for this week. :)
She is super excited and just loves church. It's great to have a
strong youth organization here.

We had an amazingly powerful lesson this week with the Guadarrama boys
and they are doing great! They are reading and praying and Henry has
come to realized that this is indeed the truth because he says he
doesn't feel this way in any other church or in reading any other
book. Daniel is solid beyond belief for a 14 year old. He reads the
Book of Mormon and understands it better than most adults. He is super
smart! He's hilarious. He's not the best at telling stories and drags
them out for a long time and he explains ever little detail. haha But
we just love the stories! He also shares with us quote from his "How
to be a Successful Teenager" book that he reads all the time. He's
awesome! He wants to be baptized SO bad, but he just needs to convince
his mom that he is old enough to make this decision. He does NOT act
like a 14-year-old. He's super mature and smart! So please pray that
all will go well. Henry is for sure getting baptized this week and he
wants to get the priesthood right away so that he can baptize his
family. :) He paused after we asked him to be baptized this weekend
and said "I can see my future right now" with his eyes closed. And
then he explained all these amazing attributes and blessings that he
can see in his future with this gospel. He's solid. They're going to
be missionaries for sure. Please pray that their mother's heart will
be softened so that she allows Daniel to take this step that is so
important to him. Again, the youth have been AMAZING in their story as
well. Such a great ward.

With Heidi, they have a situation in which they can't get married
because she has a loan for being single. And she just started school,
so if she gets married, they will take away her loan and possible kick
her out of school. There's a lot more to it, and it's all very
complex, so please pray that it will get resolved and that they will
have the necessary faith to put God first. They are just so great and
want the best, there's just so much going on right now. She also just
got promoted in work, so she may not be able to come to church on
Sundays anymore. She knows it's true and knows it's what she needs to
do. We are going to meet with them soon and have been practicing how
to help them, so please pray that all goes well!

Other than the updates, it was a pretty usual week. We had our typical
busy teaching, studying, and meetings schedule. We did a lot of
service work, though! That was a blast. :) We are both running the
same time here (we go home at the same time) so we are being sure to
stay focused and working hard! I love it. We are having a great time.
Elder Curtis is a great elder and it has been a blast working with
him. We feel he is probably leaving this next transfer :/, guess we
will find out either tonight or Saturday! I think you are all amazing,
and I absolutely love you! Take care and be safe!

-Elder Gallego

"There are two types of people; those who think they can, and those
who think they can't. And they are both usually right." (I can!!!! :))