Monday, June 23, 2014


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 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'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

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