Monday, 23 March 2015

The One Where I'm Around President Craven Too Much ;)

Hello everybody,

So this week has been absolutely full of meetings. We had our Zone
conference on Tuesday that was great! We got some wonderful training
by president Craven about being "quick to observe". I love how in his
trainings he makes sure they are today, tomorrow, and forever
principles. That means they are not only applicable to us while we are
on our missions but they will also apply when we go home. We got a law
of tithing throw down that was extremely impromptu. We were in the
middle of role playing, teaching a commandment of our choice when he
just got up and started yelling for like twenty minutes. It was great!
We also got a throw down on the law of chastity.
Apparently he likes to do that throw down about once a year. It was
extremely uncomfortable but good stuff that's needs to be gone over
and about as appropriate setting as I can think of to do it.

We had another meeting on Friday. It was an all mission conference. We
had Elder Kopischke from the seventy come and talk with us. We did a
large question and answer session with him for like three hours but we
only got three questions in because he answered so comprehensively. We
received some wonderful training though. A lot to think about and

We did see a bit of success this week. The sisters gave us one of their
former investigators to go and contact and after a bit of persistence
he let us in. He has a bit of a problem with the concept of prophets
but we have a return appointment and we will be bringing our ward mission
leader with us to the appointment. We also found a family but they
stood us up on our return appointment. Oh well.

We had our Stake level fireside yesterday and it went wonderfully.
President and Sister Craven were there (third time seeing and talking
with them that week! Scary) and it was so great! It was a lot
different than last time because we had twice the number of
missionaries involved and it was specifically for the youth but
overall it went wonderful. President Craven was impressed.

I'm sorry about the short email but I really have no time
today. Hope you all have a great week.

Love ya!
Elder Galvin

Monday, 16 March 2015

The One Where I Rip a Smoke Detector out of a Wall, Play Exterminator and Steal a Table!

Hello Everybody! 

Another great week here on the mission! 

I wish I had more things to talk about this week, but it was a pretty mediocre week. Didn't really find anyone new to teach and even got copies of the book of Mormon returned to us. That was a really sad story. We went over to contact someone who agreed to a return appointment but had missed the first one. We talked with them briefly and set up another return appointment for a few hours later because they had company coming over. When we went back a few hours later to see them and teach them, one of them was standing on the back porch and handed us the copies of the Book of Mormon back. We told him that he could keep them, but he said his mother didn't want us talking with them and that we shouldn't come back. Overall a pretty sad story. However, a member honked and waved to us on her way home from work while we were on our walk back so that cheered us up a bit.

So I have a funny story.  I was woken up at 3:30 AM on Wednesday by a chirping noise. And, since I recognized the sound, I decided to go and try and fix it. So about every minute or so this smoke alarm and carbon monoxide tester on our wall was making a noise. (This happened one morning about a month ago) I try to fix it the way I fixed it before, by pressing the test/silence button. Only this time, instead of silence, I decided to test! So now we have this incredibly loud alarm siren blaring throughout our apartment. Elder Dortch comes flying down the stairs to see me banging my fist on the stupid thing to try and get it to shut up. I told him to go back to bed but he's freaking out that we are going to die so I explained the situation and he goes back upstairs. I'm about to walk away thinking the shenanigans are over with when the little box decided to start chirping again. I ripped that thing out of the wall, took out its batteries, and went back to bed. I read the back of the thing to see  why it chirps only to see it needs new batteries. It couldn't have done that during the day!?

Also that night we were getting back to the apartment and as we pulled in we saw a table sitting on the side of the road next to the garbage cans. It was a nice looking coffee table just sitting on the side of the road. So when we going to the apartment I scoped out of the window and waited for there to be no one outside and no cars coming. Then I pounced! I ran quickly outside picked up the table and brought it back inside. Now we have a nice table in our apartment! Hopefully that wasn't someone's they wanted to keep. Shouldn't have left it on the side of the road. 

So on day we went to contact this one less active way out in the middle of nowhere. And when I mean in the middle of nowhere it was quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Put it this way. We had to drive actually one whole mile to get down the driveway. The driveway was 1 mile long! Let that sink in for a second. Every time you would think that you were getting to the end of it you would just turn another corner and there would be another hill. So we made a video of the driveway with a fun song as the background music. The GPS was a grey wasteland because we were driving so far off the road.

We were able to do some more service this week. We cleaned out M's basement that was full of a bunch of water damaged stuff. When I moved this one really soggy, really big cardboard box full of junk  there were literally hundreds (and when I say hundreds I mean hundreds) of tiny cockroaches underneath the box. I went straight chemical warfare on those things they didn't even know what hit them. I dumped a half empty bottle of cleaning solution with bleach on them, plus some rubbing alcohol. Then I picked of the stragglers with another spray bottle of bleach cleaner. They didn't even know what hit them. Her son and I were contemplating using his lighter to burn the alcohol and the cockroaches but we decided against it. We didn't want to burn down the house we were trying to fix. 

Another funny story. I just cut Elder Dortch's hair. He bought clippers at Walmart and I thought I'd give it a go. It actually didn't turn out too bad but let's just say I'm no professional. I'm making it sound worse than it actually is. It blends nicely and it's not too short. 
Elder Dortch's Haircut...not too bad?

Well that's about it for me this week. I really should start getting better at writing spiritual experiences, because the white handbook says to, but I guess I'm just a rule breaker. An exactly obedient rule breaker. I'll try to get better at it next week. Well I hope everyone has a good week and be nice to your missionaries in your areas.

Love Ya!
Elder Galvin

The One Where I Steal a CD on Exchanges, Realize I'm getting Fat, and Get a New iPad

Hello Everyone!

Hope everyone had a great week! Mine was aggressively average in basically every aspect. I think I might be hitting my stride as a missionary, or in other words, getting to the point where nothing seems crazy or interesting. It's mostly because everyday has something crazy or interesting as part of it, making everything seem mundane to the max. But it's all good.

We had zone activity last week for P Day. We were having a pizza party potluck. It was pretty fun. Elder Dortch and I contemplated purchasing a $1 Walmart Pizza and bringing it but settled on a fresh one instead
of a frozen pizza. Can't look cheap in front of your peers! (pride abounds) But the funny thing was that we had planned to start cooking it just before we were going to head out but then the sisters showed up at our apartment (they were following us not driving in the car with us, don't worry we're obedient) and we realized we never even turned the oven on! So we had to cook it at the Hickory Building. Thankfully we got there early enough to get it in the oven before we felt like
incompetents. Funny Story! I gave the opening prayer at zone activity and totally forgot to bless the food. Oops. Heavenly Father got the point I hope. If not I just made all of the other missionaries in the zone as heathen as I am.

On Tuesday we had a double dose of member meals which was great because I'm too poor and too cheap to get good food when we grocery shop so I've been living on a steady diet of spaghetti, ramen, and Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. We went out to a pizza buffet with the sisters and a crew of ladies. (They are seriously the best and I love them all) we were celebrating the birthday of Brother and
Sister Dancy's daughter Cindy. It was so much fun.

That night we ate with a member family and I broke careful vs. casual for the three millionth time but it was so much fun! (I probably sound like an awful missionary but I'm not too awful) Their daughter just left for her mission to Brazil. We were discussing what relics/artifacts from the Book of Mormon we would want and it started out great and quickly turned really morbid. It started out with things like the Liahona or one of the Brother of Jared's stone that were touched by the finger of God. I then suggested one of the arms that Ammon cut off and it just took a turn. Their son moved to the scalp that Moroni's General cut off Zerahemnah.  It's awful I know! We then tried to bring it back with some nice scriptures and succeeded for the most part. Anyways, I probably won't ever forget that dinner appointment.

Wednesday was a really solid missionary day. The weather was beautiful and the Morganton Elders took our car so we left our apartment after lunch and just started walking and talking to people. We taught a bunch of lessons and found a bunch of people who accepted return appointments. Unfortunately, it also made me realize how I'm absolutely done this summer. It was 68 outside and I was hot. And I wasn't even wearing a sweater! When it gets to be like 100 degrees or more out, and humid I'm going to die!

Thursday was a day of giving blessing and comfort. There was this one recent convert lady who was having a surgery the next day and wanted a blessing so we walked over to her house that morning. Satan clearly did not want it to happen because it was raining that morning. When I stepped out side it was just lightly drizzling but as soon as Elder
Dortch got outside and locked the door it just started to downpour on us! We walked in the rain and got soaking wet. The sisters drove by and got angry and yelled at us for walking in the rain. They tried to pull over and give us the car but we didn't let them so they parked and defiantly walked in the rain with us. It went great with the recent convert though.
We also went with a member of our bishopric to the house of a less active lady  (the lady whose son I tutored in trigonometry). She has been under a lot of stress so we were able to try and relieve
that and she felt a lot better after we left. It's so great to be able to help people feel the spirit and bring that comfort into their lives.

We had zone meeting on Friday and we exchanged after. We got our new iPads at Zone meeting and they are amazing!
 We get to keep these ones and bring them home with us at the end of our missions. It took so long to set them up and we had appointments to get to right after so we had to skip lunch that day which was awful.

I went on exchanges to Morganton after Zone Meeting. Elder Bishop went to Hudson so Elder Dortch finally got to on an exchange with Elder Bishop so he was pretty excited. I went to Morganton with Elder Marsh and Elder Hass. It was pretty great. We met with one of their new
investigators who is the most elect and ready for baptism investigator I have ever met. He could be baptized in a few weeks easily. Now we just need to find people like that here in the Lenoir. Well we do find them but most of them are single women or don't actually liven our area so we can't be the ones to teach them.  If I had a dollar for every referral we give to the Elders in Hickory or to the Sisters I would not be eating Ramen every day!

We went to the church to use the wifi in Morganton and while we were there I noticed a stack of CDs with the efy and youth theme music sitting there. They had a bunch of copies of the 'Embark' CD so I took one. I later felt guilty so I told them to take it back. We were all pretty sure it was fine to take one because there were so many just lying around but they are going to ask just to be sure.

One of our long time investigators is doing great! He found a friend to get into the church with him  who is one of the sisters investigators. He has a lot of things he needs to work through and he probably won't get baptized for a long
time but he knows it's true and said he will get baptized when he sorts himself out. He will be one of the people who hear about two years later that finally get baptized. We chopped wood for a member for service
again and it was a lot of fun. We taught this crazy drunk guy who dropped off the wood (he lives in Morganton go figure ugh) and he was pretty nice.

I've been making a horrible discovery over the weeks. I weighed myself this morning and I weigh 123 pounds! I've gained five pounds and I haven't even been out for three months yet! This is not good! I'm going to get fat on my mission and I swore I'd never be one of those missionaries! I need to start working out better in the mornings but I'm just so tired I can never bring myself to do much. Our mission presidents wife emailed us some exercise PDFs that I'm going to start
using. Hopefully it helps.

Overall, it's been a pretty good week. Hope you have a great week too! Be nice to missionaries, invite them over for dinner and introduce them to your friends and family! Everyone need the Gospel and it's so great so share it!

Love ya!
Elder Galvin

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The One Where They Unneccesarily Cancel Church and I Tutor Trigonometry!

Hey Y'all!

Nothing overly spectacular happened as far as teaching this week. We did teach one extremely heartbreaking lesson though. We followed up on a return appointment that we set that we weren't really planning on going back to you because the lady didn't seem very interested. We decided to go back anyway and when got there the lady was home with her three grandchildren because the town closed schools because the temperature maybe dropped below 30 for
three seconds!  The state is so weird.  Everything shuts down the second it gets cold. The schools here have had more snow days in the past week than I think I've ever had in my life! But I'm digressing, so we go to in and teach the restoration to this family. The three kids absolutely loved it and got everything that we taught them. When we extended an invitation for baptism they all look to their grandmother who essentially told us that their other grandmother is a preacher and to never come back. It was really sad but maybe some will eventually get baptized and go on
missions 10 years from now. Plant seeds wherever you go!

Our mission conference was supposed to be Thursday morning starting at 8 o'clock. But because we got quite a heavy snowfall on Wednesday night into Thursday morning it got postponed four hours. Just as we were about to head out the door Elder Dortch checked his blood sugar and it was at a whopping 28! so I had to drive the entire way. Which I loved! I
didn't think I'd miss driving as much as I did. We went to the Sisters apartment and they followed behind us with the Sisters from Boone. We also had to stop in Hickory to pick up the Spanish Elders and two hours
later we were in Charlotte at the mission conference which was great.  A member of the quorum of the Seventy and the Head of the Missionary Department trained us in regards to technology being used in the mission field.  The main focus of having iPads in the hands of missionaries is not only to help them teach people better. The equal focus is training missionaries to be responsible and purpose driven technology and media users for the rest of their lives.  Overall I'm very excited to see all the new changes, and to be part of what the member of the 70 called "One of the biggest changes in missionary work history ever". (Fun sidenote: he shook my hand and said "awesome" which is a banned word along with 'cool' in our mission. Our mission president feels they are too casual and that a general authority would never say those
words. He is right, but only on half of his statement!) :)

I also have some pretty amazing news. Our fireside was such a success that they've asked the four of us to do it on a stake level! We are supposed to involve the Sister Training Leaders and the Zone Leaders to help us out. Missionary work is booming in Hickory!

We have been trying to do a lot of finding because our investigator pool is pretty stale. We met this one guy two days ago who were pretty sure gave us a fake last name, but we have a return appointment with him at 6:30 today so who knows how that's gonna go. We meet a lot of people who seem very interested but they never answer their phone when
we  are trying  to call them. Oh well.

On Sunday they canceled church. They claimed it was because of icy conditions but the roads were just a little wet. Not
even icy it all! Everything shuts down the second drop freezing. I just don't get it. I doubt I ever will. So we had to blow a bunch of miles to drive to Morganton to go to church. It was a really great sacrament meeting and I enjoyed the classes. Unfortunately none of our investigators came to church but such is life.

On Sunday I also got to put my nerdy math skills to the test. A less active member who the Sisters are teaching called them and asked if they had any skill of trigonometry. Sister Leishman did but had forgotten it all. So what ended up happening is they called us and all four of us went over. Elder Dortch and Sister Smith taught the
member while sister Leishman and I taught her inactive 18-year-old son trigonometry. I was surprised at how well I remembered it. Granted, I did pray before to ask Heavenly Father to help me remember it all. Prayer works! It was a lot of fun because I actually miss doing math. He said it started clicking as we were finishing up so as long as he practices he should be able to get it all. Hopefully this can turn into an Ammon experience and we can reactivate him and get him on a
mission and baptize all his friends!

Well I wish my email could be a bit longer but we have a zone activity this afternoon. We're going to Hickory for a pizza potluck and to play games at the building there. Should be a lot of fun.

Love ya!
Elder Galvin

There are no Pictures to add this week because we didn't get any sent to us :(

The One Where We get Locked out of Our Apartment in a Blizzard

This is been a pretty good week! 

I have a crazy story from last P-Day.  So we were going outside to look at the snow. When we got outside the
back door shut behind us which we didn't think was that big of a deal. Only when we try to open it it was locked.  Apparently the back door locks itself when it closes from the outside. We had left everything in the house and we 
were outside of the house!  The phone, iPads, my name tag!,...Everything. So we had to go over to our neighbours, 
knock on their door, and use their phone to call the apartment people and get someone to come and unlock our door. Since she was a lady and the only other person in the house with her was her daughter we couldn't go inside! So we
stood outside in the blizzarding snow for an hour waiting for the person to come and unlock our apartment! I tried to rip 
the screen to get to the window and open the door that way but the window was locked too! It was just a mess but it all 
got sorted out. 

So it snowed pretty bad, and by pretty bad I mean about an inch here, and it shut down the entire state! All of the cars in the mission got grounded, meaning they couldn't be driven, so it was a lot of walking. It didn't affect us too bad because we didn't have the car. We also invented a new method of finding called "hot chocolate pamphlets".  It's when you take a packet of hot chocolate and tape it into the "How can I Know" section of the pamphlet and compare the warm feelings of
hot chocolate with the warm feelings of the Holy Ghost.  People are a lot more likely to take a pamphlet and listen to you when you are giving them hot chocolate! You just have to be creative with finding. Tracting is really ineffective.

We got transfer calls on Tuesday night. And we were the only companionship in our district that remained completely intact. Transfers are always a scary thing to think about but they always work out in the end.

We had a 'last hurrah' district meeting on Wednesday before transfers took place. Careful versus casual was thrown right out the window! It was the last time we would probably be seeing these people or some of these people for a long time since the sisters in Morganton are going home next transfer. We also went out for a district lunch and it was a really good
time! I really loved my district but look forward to getting to know and love the new people as well.

Funny story from this week! So the sisters decided to make us lunch one day. So when we went to drop off some copies of the book of Mormon for them we picked up a crockpot meal that they had made. However, since we had a dinner appointment that night we didn't end up eating it. We just took it out of the crockpot and stuck it in the fridge. I don't know
what happened between the cooking to fridge process, but when we ate it for lunch the next day let's just say there was some gastrointestinal distress. We learned later that the meat had been sitting out for about a day because they didn't know what to do with it and then they decided to throw it in the crockpot and feed it to the elders. We probably won't be accepting any more meals from the sisters for the foreseeable future. :)

So I sent some money with the sisters when they went to transfer meeting. I got them to pick me up a large print Bible and and triple combination. I've decided I'm going to make a set of scriptures that's entirely devoted to Preach my Gospel. I'm going to mark every single scripture that's referenced in Preach my Gospel (that's a lot) and highlight and flag every scripture referenced in the five discussions. It's going to take a long time but it's so worth it!

Sunday was a such a really great day!  The first thing that made Sunday great was T's baptism! It was so wonderful to be a part of that and be a part of bringing her into the church. It was such a spirit filled event and she was so happy afterwards. I was able to do the baptism and Elder Dortch confirmed her.

We also had the fireside Sunday night. It was so great and we got such great feedback! We were really able to educate ( I think) the members of the ward. It was pretty well attended and everyone absolutely loved it. There were some people from other wards and they're going to bring it back to their missionaries and get their missionaries to do a fireside just like ours!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Love ya!
Elder Galvin

Always having fun!!

Getting Ready for the Fireside 

Me at the Baptism

The One Where a Felon Raps for us on the side of a Highway

It's been another good week here in North Carolina!

We had a zone meeting on Tuesday which is a lot of fun. Some missionaries in our district did a musical number that was really really good. After zone meeting we went to Buffalo Wild Wings. We went there with Sister R and the Sisters because we all drove together to Hickory where zone meeting was. It was so good! Anyway, Sister R is such a good missionary! She ended up talking to the guy at the cash register about the church and about missionaries. He had never heard the gospel before or even about Mormons. We got his information and passed it onto the missionaries in Hickory so they can go and teach him. 

That afternoon we went to Granite Falls, a town just south of Hudson where I'm living, to go looking for a few people that Bishop asked us to go see. Since they were less than happy about us showing up we went to visit another member. It was such a good visit! We talked about the priesthood and want him to start progressing towards getting that. We had dinner that night at a members house whose husband is not a member.  I love him, he is such a smart guy!  We had a great visit with him before he had to leave but we look forward to talking to him in the future.

Since we were in the area and it was about 45 minutes before we had to be home we went and stopped by yet another members house. I absolutely adore them too! . We had a great visit with him and her. She is a recent convert and he is on his way to baptism. They both came to church yesterday which was wonderful!

Wednesday was a bit of a weird day. We went to visit some more less actives but really couldn't find them. We tracked around the area and set up quite a few appointments for the sisters because they were people that we couldn't go in their home. It all worked out though. We went home and did some teaching over Facebook and had correlation that night.

Since we lost the car on Wednesday to the Morganton Elders we have been spending the last while on foot. We've been trying to contact a few potential investigators that we have but that didn't end up working. We've been continuing to work with T and prepare her for baptism and she should be baptized on Sunday! It's so exciting and she's asked me to do it! I absolutely adore that family and they're some of my favorite people that I've met here so far.  When we were over there on Saturday night it was so windy but we had to help the sister pour kerosene into her tank because of her back.   I thought Elder Dortch was going to fly off the top of the ladder! I also got some random piece of something in my eye that woke me up the next night! Oh well. 

Our Friday the 13th was pretty unlucky. We got stood up by one appointment that we walk to so We ended up having to walk back. Also our ride to the appointment following that ended up being sick so we couldn't go. Very disappointing. 

We did have one of the funniest experience happen on Friday the 13th. We were walking to go contact a potential and we see this head begin to emerge down the road. Normally when people see missionaries walking down the side of the road they turn tail and run. But this guy crossed to be walking on the same side of the road as us and walking towards us. At zone meeting we learned about a phrase called 'oh what the heck, just go for it anyway' and applied it in the situation. He was quite the character! He told us all about his felony of being in jail because of being a drug dealer! He did a dramatic reenactment of his arrest. He also rapped a little bit of soulja boy and one of his own creations. When we told him that as missionaries were really not allowed to be listening to worldly music he told us don't worry it's one of my clean songs. He then proceeded to use a lot of not clean vocabulary. I'll let you interpret that how you please. We did end up teaching him a lesson and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon with our number and told him to call us back. He said his phones not working because he got it disconnected because of the court cases in.  A lot of drama, a lot of fun, and weird experiences. Such is missionary life!

Saturday made up for our not good Friday the 13th night. We had a Valentines lunch at a member's. It was basically a feast of delicious. She cooks the best food I can't get over it. We had  chimichangas and they were delicious!  We had one of the best teaching visits with her right after. We taught him part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught him about faith and repentance. He said he finally gets it! It's finally starting to make sense in his head. It's so wonderful that he's progressing spiritually so much. He has a lot of stuff to work through but I do not doubt that he will be baptized one day. We taught him about baptism and the Holy Ghost after church yesterday. The spirit was so strong! He said he knows that this is the true church! We can't wait to continue with work with him and get him down this path that he knows he wants and needs to be on.

We ate dinner at our bishops house last night. We did a trial run of our bit for the fireside next week in an attempt to impress him and his family about how good of missionaries that we are. I think it worked? But oh well. Bishop is a great man and I love him very much. His family is super great too. We greeted him when he picked us up by standing outside our apartment and shining a Batman symbol flashlight on the side of our apartment building. If that didn't catch his attention and impress him I don't know what would. 

I hope everybody has a good week.

Love ya,
Elder Galvin 

                                                         My Amazing District at our Zone Conference