Monday, 29 February 2016

Monday November 30, 2015 - The One where I kick a Kitten (by Accident)

So this week has been a great week here in Albemarle. I've been slower
than other weeks but overall pretty average.

So American Thanksgiving was this week which was a lot of fun. We had
two dinner appointments so we we're stuffed by the end of the day.
Thanksgiving took up a lot of our time but we were still able to get out
and do some missionary work for the evening. We decided to move our
weekly planning session from the morning to the evening so we would
have more processing time. We didn't have any appointments for the
night after six so we decide we do our weekly planning then instead.
We figured it would be more productive than doing it in the morning
and not being able to do anything at night in the dark.

We met an interesting lady on Thanksgiving morning. She ranted to us
about how England was the worst place ever. She talked all about how
they came to Africa and took all the gold, and hurt all the people,
and on and on and on. She kept on yelling at us where was Jesus for
500 years. As soon as we even tried to say something or when she asked us a
question, we could hardly get two words in before she started going off
again. It was 15 minutes of my life I'm never going to get back. To
make up for that we did meet this really nice elderly couple who
actually studied at BYU. They weren't interested in the gospel but we gave him the
Book of Mormon to replace the one they lost during their move.

We also went to a Hmong party this week. I thought we were going
into a normal dinner appointment but turns out there was like 40
people there. It was a lot of fun. No one spoke English though.  There was
this one guy that we did talk to for a while who we actually had met the
week before while we were out tracting. He's a member over in Raleigh so he
talked with us for most of the evening. It was a lot of fun.

As we were getting to the car after I accidentally kicked the cat. He was
this tiny and adorable kitten that I took pictures with. We had to
hold onto it because it kept on trying to get underneath the car as we
were driving away. We didn't want to run over it.

We spent a lot of the week tracting. There was one day when we decided
to go somewhere we didn't think missionaries had ever been. We went to
this cluster of streets in the middle of nowhere. Turns out that the
cluster of Streets was a trailer park full of aggressive Baptist
people. We realized why missionaries probably had never been there! It was
all right though a lot of people were still nice and we handed out a
lot of the 'A Savior is born' cards. To try and recover from all the sadly
disgusting rundown trailers we had been knocking on we went to the super
rich neighborhood. People there were just as uninterested however it
made us feel better cause will be around houses that were nice.

We did have one really interesting experience this week.  we were going to
teach one of our investigators. He's not the most virtuous of people
and neither are his friends. We walked to one of his friends sitting
on the couch, high as a kite, doing drugs right on top of the word of wisdom
pamphlet. The irony was way too strong.

Hope you have a great week.
Send me pictures, read your scriptures
Love you!
Elder Galvin

Monday November 23, 2015 - The One with a Surprise Baptism

This week was another really good week. Until Sunday. 

This week we had a lot of service opportunities. Tuesday morning we
went to Stanly Manor, a nursing home in Albemarle. A few members of
the ward work there and they asked us to come and help. They got some
new beds in so we spent some time that morning unboxing and building
beds. The next day we went to Habitat for Humanity again. I bought
some Christmas lights from there to put up in the apartment. Not so
funny story, the lights I bought didn't work. We brought them home and
when we plugged them in they didn't light up. We had to go back that
afternoon on our way to an appointment to exchange them. But the
lights look pretty now.

The service we did this week that was the most fun was on Thursday.
This Thursday was our Zone Conference in Charlotte. It was really
amazing as usual. One thing we found out at our last Zone Meeting is
that Zone Conferences and Interviews are going to both happen every
transfer cycle. Usually they switch off but a president Alexander
feels that we will be better off if we can spend more time around him
and Sister Alexander.

After Zone Conference we all changed into street clothes and headed
over to the YMCA in University City. There are some members that work
there and every year they organize a soup kitchen type event for the
community. They had a ton of food that we served to people from
different homeless shelters. They get transported there by bus and
they come and eat. All of the missionaries in our zone plus a ton of
other people were there volunteering. They had a group from Food Lion
there as well. There were dance performances done by the students of
local dance schools and some people and groups from the Y singing for
them. It was really nice. Unfortunately, I left my camera in the car
so I'm going to have to get pictures from other missionaries.

On Saturday we got to be a part of the baptism of George Washington.
Not the president, the eight year old. It's been a struggle to get him
there but it finally happened three weeks before he turned
nine and into a convert baptism. We wanted it to happen while he was
eight because it would have been a mess trying to get him interviewed
and taught everything. It was a lot easier this way...a miracle story! It was probably
the smallest baptism I've been to. He didn't want anyone there. Like
anyone. But he was finally convinced to let the people there that had
to be. It ended up being us, the man who baptized him, our Bishop, his
family, and one set of Grandparents. It was nice. It was totally
unexpected though. We had an appointment with a family nearby
and I have to tell that story now... 
So we should up at the house when we told them we would be there.
One of the ladies opened the door and told us to wait a minute. Two
minutes later, one of the small children come to the door and tell us
to come inside. We stood in the doorway for the literally nine minutes
waiting for someone to come and they didn't. So we left a note on the
couch in spray paint! Not actually, we left it on a temple card. We're not going

But back to George! After that whole situation went down we decide to
go visit the Washington family. And after a brief 20 minute visit we
had planned the baptism for this Saturday. It was great!  We were
surprised but very happy.

So now to tell about P. She is a lady we have been teaching for about month
and a half now. She has come to church two weeks in a row and was
loving it. She originally had a baptismal date for the twelfth of
December but was moving along so well we moved it up on Friday to the
twenty eighth of November. We planned her baptismal service, had it put
in the program at church, and everyone was all excited. Until had a
social at her old church on Saturday night that she had agreed to sing
at and her pastor convinced her not to keep coming to our church. She
told all this to a lady in our ward who takes her to church. P feels
guilty and conflicted. She doesn't like her church or the people there
and loves our church. Plus she has felt the Spirit and knows it's
true. We were supposed to teach her last night but she wasn't home. We
are going to try and go back and see what we can do for her. Hopefully
everything works out.

Send me pictures, read your scriptures
Love you!
Elder Galvin

Monday November 26, 2015 - The One where we get sent back to the Stone Ages

This was another really great week here in Albemarle. We have been
continuing all of the great work and everything is just getting better
and better.

Our most progressing investigator is a lady named P. We found her
about a month a ago. We tried stopping by a less active members house
that we had never visited before. They had previously rejected
missionaries but we thought we would try. They weren't home so we
knocked the doors of their neighbors. Their neighbor was not very
interested but we asked who they knew who might be. He told us if we
walked all the way up the road, took a right, and at the end of that
road there might be some people who need to listen to you. So we did!
And after knocking on doors for a bit we found Pamela. She has been
very accepting of all that we teach her. This last Saturday we taught
the Word of Wisdom and she had no concerns. She told us she was going
to start to tell everyone that tea was bad for them. She came to
church for the first time last Sunday and she told us it changed her
life. She really enjoyed it yesterday too.

We have had major issues with our AreaBook app this week. Mine wasn't
updating to the new system so there was no way for me to sync. Then,
on Saturday when I finally did update the iPad decided it didn't trust
the app so we weren't able to even get in to see our plans. It totally
messed everything up as far as reporting in key indicators this entire
week so we had to go back and try and remember all the lessons we
taught. It was such a pain in the butt. It did fix itself this morning
on my iPad but not Elder Simpkins.

We had another great district meeting this week. After district
meeting we went out with the other district to lunch at a place called
chipotle it's basically like Subway meets Mexican food. It's pretty
delicious. So the place got me very angry, they had all this extra stuff to
put on and I asked for guacamole. Little did I know guacamole costed
two whole dollars extra. I was not the happiest camper. It tasted
really good so I can't complain.

One of the evenings we went with member this week our appointment fell
through. Since we didn't have any solid backup plans he decided to
take us to his place of work. He works on airplane engine so we got a
tour of his shop. We saw a bunch of super expensive airplane parts and
then airplane in the hanger. We got to go inside and take pictures
inside of it. It was a lot of fun.

This week had also marked a change in the weather. While it isn't
snowing like it is at home, it is getting a lot colder. It's actually
dropped below freezing at night a couple of times. The worst was when
Elder Simpkin decided that he was going to turn the heat off at night
without telling me and see how cold it was in the morning. It was 15
degrees. In our apartment. I died.

This week we also went on exchange. Elder Valgardson came with me to
our area. We had one of the most unique dinner appointments I've had
on my mission. We had an picnic in the dark with a single mom talking
about BYU problems. It was really fun. Her son kept on pretending to
vacuum with sticks.

We also have been helping out a less active lady clean out her house. She
has been donating all of her stuff to the church to give out to
members of the ward. We have taken boxes of unused office supplies,
fabric and everything in between from her. We pack it up in our
car and bring it to the church.

Overall it was a really great week again.

Send me pictures, read your scriptures,
Love Ya!
Elder Galvin

Monday November 9, 2015 - The One with the Huge Christmas Tree

So this was another good week. We had some more great member
involvement and had lots of people come teaching with us.

Tuesday morning we went with the other Elders to do service at Habitat
for Humanity. It was probably he most fun I've had there. We helped
them set up this huge twelve foot tall Christmas tree. It took the
four of us an hour to get it set it all up. It was a lot of fun but took a
long time to do!

This was a pretty busy week so again, nothing really fun or exciting
happened. We did have this one afternoon of tracting that was met with
the most stereotypical responses from people ever. My personal
favorites was when I learned a new piece of church doctrine.
Apparently, in Salt Lake City, when your child begins to believe in
Jesus Christ, you shun them and never let them back into the family.
Another one was a conversation I had with a lady after introducing the
Book of Mormon. It went like this.
Lady: Oh I've read some of that book.
Me: Really! What did you think?
Lady: Well the words were different then the King James, and even some
of the stories,  and the bible says not to change the bible.
Me: Well the Book of Mormon is different from the bible.
Lady: The words are different and the King James says not to add to or
take away from this book
Me: (holding up bible in one hand and Book of Mormon in the other) but
they're separate books
Lady: But the Book of Mormon has different wording in it and different stories
Me: Yes, they're different books
Lady: the King James says that you can't add or take away
And the conversation was basically that for a bit.

This week we did have our zone meeting. After it we went had a zone lunch
which was a gong show and a half. It was fun though. We went to Red
Robin and it was really tasty. They have the most genius thing ever.
So they have bottomless fries. They the give you the fires in this
metal cylinder. I tried to pick it up and dump it out but the fries
fell out the bottom...Because there is no bottom...Because they're
bottomless. We laughed so hard.

Sorry this isn't the best email. I can't think of anything to write
about. It was just a very regular week. We did go to TJ Max today. It
was fun. It just opened up in town yesterday.

Send me pictures. Read your scriptures.
Love you!
Elder Galvin

Monday November 2, 2015 - The One Where the Police are Called

This has been a great week here in Albemarle! We have seen so many
miracles! It didn't start out that way though. P-Day was pretty
boring. Not much happened. Tuesday I was exhausted. 

I think Heavenly Father realized what i needed to boost me up so
he started pouring out miracles. It started out by the bishop and his
wife having us over for dinner . We had three dinners cancel on us
this week so we were grateful for them. We then had a
great lesson with the M family with our bishop there. It started
the week back off on the right track. We ended the week having taught
9 member present lessons. That's over double what the standard of
excellence is for our mission!

This Wednesday was our district meeting as usual. We have such a great
district. After District meeting us Elders went to McDonald's for
lunch. We dot the Mickey D's dinner box which is way too much for for
two people but we eat it anyways. And somehow I've managed to drop a
pound. It makes no sense. 

We went on exchange this week. Elder Lopez came to our apartment. We
had a good time together. We went to this one town super far away to
try and find some people but we're very unsusessful. It was funny
though. We had parked our car and had been walking for about five
minutes when all of a sudden a police car rolls up. The police officer
starts talking to us. Apparently somebody had called the police
because of some suspicious people in a suspicious vehicle. He realized
it was garbage when he saw us. He was a nice guy. I think it's funny
that two kids dressed in suits, driving a Chevy Cruze with a bike rack is
suspicious.  We did meet this nice old couple who weren't
interested but gave us cookies to take home. That was nice.

This Halloween was pretty great! We did a service project where we had
over a dozen ward members helping us clean up the M's house. We cut the
yard, sprayed down the house and it looks so good. It was such a great
trust builder with the ward. It's such a testimony builder to me of
service. It really sparks the desire in people. When we love people,
serve them, and share the word of God it inspires people to want to
change. We also went to the primary's Halloween party. Elder Simpkin
and I crushed some ten year olds in the three legged race. We also beat some
teenaged girls just so we didn't feel as bad for beating the small children. We
still won. We had to be in our apartment by 6:00 but no kids came to
our door, we even had candy and everything. We have been using some of
the candy and chocolate covered pretzels to bribe the M's two young 
boys into being quiet so we can have the Spirit in our lessons more.
It's working well! Overall it was a great week.

Send me pictures, read your scriptures,
Love you!
Elder Galvin

My district in our matching shirts...except Elder Valgardsen

Monday October 26, 2015 - The One with the Cow

This has been a really busy week so naturally nothing happened. It's
funny that the busier you are, and the more appointments you have, the
less things happen that are worth writing about. It's mostly since you
spend so much time doing the things you are supposed to do, God
removes all the stresses and hard times. That's a true principle.

We have had really good success with our teaching. We have two ladies
on baptismal date. One is someone that the sisters used to teach and
the other is J. "J" is so converted. She was really glad
that we were there bringing gifts and showing love when all the other
churches weren't. Service changes hearts!

So this week we got a chessboard from a member in the ward. We have
been playing it at lunch and at night. I'm not really that good at the
game but Elder Simpkin is. I've only won twice and he beats me most of
the time. I'm not sure about any strategies to use so I usually just
make a bunch of mistakes and lose all the good players then get

After our district meeting this week in Kanapolis we went to
Chik-fil-a. It was that restaurants first birthday so there was a cow
walking around the store. We got pictures with it. It was a lot of
fun. We also got a picture sitting on a cow in front of the store.

This weekend was the stake conference here. The Stake presidency was
reorganized and I totally called who the new stake president was going
to be. Just saying. They had two members of the seventy there, Elder
Hymas and Elder Anderson, I got to shake both of their hands. There
were so many great talks given.

The weather has started getting colder here. The leaves are all
changing color and it looks so pretty. I've never seen pink leaves
until I came here.

Send me pictures, read your scriptures.
Elder Galvin

Monday October 19, 2015 - The One with the Wedding Reception

This was a really great week. It started off on Monday night one of the craziest teaching experiences I've had on my mission. We called it, the sermon on the court. So some of the Hmong people decided that they wanted to play volleyball on Monday night. They asked our ward mission leader who is friends with them to come and open up the church. He told him that Monday night is normally family home evening so we don't normally do things like that. He said that if they wanted to play, they would have to be taught by the missionaries. So all four of us went over, and taught about 20 Hmong people before they played volleyball. We got a picture. None of them were interested in learning more but it was a good experience.

We also had a rather interesting impromptu service activity. We were just about to have lunch when we got a call from the other elders asking if we can go and help them out at a nursing home. One of the members of our ward works there and she needed help moving a bunch of really heavy chairs out of the nursing home so they could put a bunch of nice new ones in. We were unable to stay for the entire thing but we were able to help them out. Unfortunately we did not get a lunch that day.

We also in on exchange with the other elders in our area on Wednesday. I went with Elder Lopez to their area. We had a lot of fun. We were able to go and do some service for a less active lady and her non member husband.

We also had a mission conference with a member of the seventy this week, Elder Kopischke. It was very instructive. It was with a bunch of other zones in the mission so I was able to see a lot of old friends.

The next day while making our weekly planning milkshakes I went to pull out some sugar and right before it went into the blender I saw about twenty ants that were about to fall out of the bag and into the blender. Needless to say we threw it out.

This weekend went to a wedding reception for Muamnkaujilgzoo and Tyson. It was freezing outside but other than that it was a lot of fun there was tons of food which is pretty typical of a Hmong function. They had the reception in their backyard and it was decorated so nicely. There was a lot of people there to talk to and they played some good music. Apparently there is there is this new dance thing that came out after I came out. It's whipping and nay naying? Anyways...

Have a great week!
Send me pictures, read your scriptures,
Love you!
Elder Galvin

I got to see Elder Dortch at the Mission Conference!!
My family sent Elder Simpkin and I a package full of British Candy!
At The Wedding Reception