Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Monday April 11, 2016 - The One with Streakers and Hot Sauce

This has been another great week in Danville. Things are moving along
fairly well and we are doing alright. We have had some pretty good
experiences this week. However, very little of it is of note.

We recently got bunk beds,  Well Elder Andersen and Elder Everett 
are both probably leaving this transfer so they go top bunk priority. I 
really wanted the top bunk and knew Elder Andersen would cave first 
so I worked on him. He finally agreed to give it up, on one condition. I 
ate a drop of his spiciest hot sauce.

Now, let me tell you how this experience went. I died. I put it in my
mouth, thoroughly expecting it to be the most miserable experience. I
was wrong, it was worse. I spent the next twenty minutes sitting on
the floor, with a bucket of ice cream, doing my best to make the
burning stop. It was awful. But I got the top bunk so it was worth it.

I went on a really weird exchange this week. Because of schedules the
only time we could exchange was from Saturday morning to Sunday after
church. (we don't normally do exchanges on the weekend) I stayed in 
Danville and got Elder Masoe. We shared quite a strange experience.

That Saturday morning the other Elders had a baptism which was
wonderful. I'm good friends with the guy who got baptized. Anywho, at
the baptism our bishop told us about this big rugby tournament that
was going on in Danville. Still not sure why they picked Danville but
that's besides the point. So, since I had a Samoan Elder with me and our
Bishop told us to go, we went hoping to find people. We didn't but did
talk to quite a few, Elder Masoe also met his first other Samoan on
his mission which was really neat for him. But this is when the
streakers come in.

As we were just finishing up talking to this girl from Dublin I looked
to my right and saw in the distance the naked backside of this
Hispanic guy running. After he finished we saw, one after another,
four other guys do the exact same thing. What would happen is someone
would kick the rugby ball and the person who got dared had to go
retrieve it without their clothes on. The crazy thing to me was how
there was like 500 people actin super nonchalant about the whole
thing. Elder Masoe was laughing at me because apparently I made a
funny face when I first noticed it. It was strange, definitely not
what I was expecting.

This Sunday I had to play the organ because the usual lady was out of
town. I've only really started to mess around with the organ since
Danville but I'm picking it up pretty quick. My feet are still a work
in progress but I can play a good two dozen hymns. I'm not sure if I
playing it right but it sounds good.

Since I'm feeling lazy and there isn't much to talk about this week
I'm just going to insert something I wrote for my mother. She asked me
to share some thoughts on adversity for an upcoming talk she is giving
so I'm attaching what I wrote this morning during studies. Enjoy!

 As I write this I feel like Moroni, who certainly knew adversity, who said "I
speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not." (Mormon
8:34) To preface, I hope you understand how transient this lifetimis.
I recall a lesson I received in Primary once. The missionaries were
asked to teach and as an object lesson they brought in a long rope and
some embroidery floss. The stretched the rope from one end of the room
to the other and said it represented eternity. They then took a small
piece of embroidery floss and draped it over the rope. They told us
this represented our life on earth. Now, for a six year old brain this
was one of the first expanding moments with the concept of eternity
but as I reflect back it gives a wonderful sense of eternal

We know that "this life is the time for men [and women] to prepare to
meet God" (Alma 34:32).

Our eventual goal in eternities is to dwell eternally with our Father
and Saviour, and to become like them. The apostle Paul taught this
simple truth.
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the
children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may
be also glorified together." (Romans 8:16-17)
Oftentimes as members of the church I feel we miss the key phrase "if
it so be that we suffer with him". We come to earth to be tested, an
unfortunate, yet required part of that testing is to "suffer with

The prophet Lehi taught that it "must needs be, that there is an
opposition in all things" (2 Nephi 2:11). This opposition is the
primary source of which the growth in mortality comes. Lehi continues,
"man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed
by the one or the other". (2 Nephi 2:16) Our purpose in life is to
learn how to use our agency righteously, adversity is Gods way of
instruction. If there is no growth in a comfort zone, there is no
comfort in a growth zone.

Lehi concluded with this powerful statement, "But behold, all things
have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things." (2 Nephi
2:24) Think of that, "all things". There is no trial, no blessing, no
good day, no bad day, no heartbreak, no triumph, no circumstance that
has not been tailored and molded and fit exactly for us by the "wisdom
of him who knoweth all things".

So how do we respond when trials loom ever closer on the horizon, when
we fall into pitfalls we didn't see coming. Is it with faith or fear,
trust or resentment? Do we "go and do" as Nephi or do we run like King

Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their
trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted
up at the last day” (Alma 36:3).

While a prisoner in Liberty Jail the Prophet Joseph Smith suffered
much. He had gotten to a point in his affliction that even the
dispensation head, who had countless heavenly visitors, who had seen
the Father and the Son, who had more spiritual experiences than
perhaps any one person in recent history began to cry out.

"O God, where art thou? ... How long shall thy hand be stayed, ...
Remember thy suffering saints." (D&C 121:1-2,6)

The Lord replies with one of the most comforting statements in all
holy writ. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine
afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it
well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy
foes." (D&C 121:7-8)

This powerful statement fulfilling His promise to the Book of Mormon
prophet Alma when He said, "Whosoever shall put their trust in God
shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their
afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 36:3).

Building our bunk beds

Monday April 4, 2016 - The One with Fry Fry Fatalities and a Groovy Granny

This has been a great week in Danville even though we have only had
essentially two days to proselyte. It totally killed our finding
efforts since we were so focused on dealing with the people we already
have in the short time we had to work with them. But first! Conference
was this weekend. Here is a brief summary.

Conference Highlights, these were some of my favourite talks and my
thoughts about them. Donald L. Hallstrom, loved the discussion on the
fundamental doctrine of being children of God. It reminded me of
something my first mission president would always say, "When you know
who you are, you act differently." Gary E. Stevenson, simply taught
the doctrine of Priesthood Keys. Steven E. Snow, taught me wonderful
lessons about the relationship between humility and personal prayer.
Dale G. Renlund, tied in well with the previous talk. I enjoyed the
thoughts on entitlement to God's help and am striving for more
humility so I can avoid it. Neil L. Andersen, I felt it was given
directly to a youth aged investigator of ours. Loved the continued
emphasis on children and youth. Mervyn B. Arnold, one of my favourites
for sure. Such a great pump up reactivation and missionary work talk.
David A. Bednar, another doctrinal powerhouse talk. His explanation on
retaining a remission of sins through covenants and ordinances was
masterful. M. Russell Ballard, while I don't have a family yet this
has some good principles for now. Russell M. Nelson, further
emphasized humility and forgiveness, his thoughts on being men of God
were wonderful. Thomas S. Monson, of course the prophet was great,
loved his thoughts on choices and agency. Bonnie L. Oscarson, great
insights on reconciling your head and your heart. Robert D. Hales,
possibly one of the best talks on the Gift of the Holy Ghost I have
heard, another favorite. Patrick Kearon, since I've been living under
a news/media devoid rock for the past year and a bit it was a nice
wake up call to world events. Powerful, emotional, and another
favourite. Dallin H. Oaks, opposition as a part of the plan, gained
some nice insights and he expounded the scriptures amazingly. Jeffery
R. Holland, of course his was a favourite too, uplifting and
encouraging, it was nice to be reassured we get credit for trying.

Well, looking over it I basically liked every talk. I tried a new
style of note taking this conference.  Usually I just write down as much
as I can but I took a page out of the Elder Bednar's book of note
taking. I wrote down the principles the speakers taught, any
invitations they extended, and impressions I received. It was a
rewarding experience.

Most non-spiritual highlights were President Uchdorf related. His
jokes were on point, I loved his emotional response to the talk on
refugees since it must have struck a chord with him. Plus the
awkwardness in dealing with President Monson's reminder was funny. The
guy in the choir crying during Come Thou Fount was a highlight, I was
almost crying alongside him. Plus, Elder Holland's dinosaur picture
and ice cream joke were great too.

Like I said earlier we had hardly any time to proselyte. With our
weekend being filled with General Conference and having to babysit the
church we didn't have much time to get out and work. Wednesday was
also completely full. We had to drive to Greensboro for our District
Meeting followed by interviews with our mission President. That night
we also had a dinner appointment.

We were pretty effective with what little time we had. We were able to
get lots of members out teaching with us and we had some really great
lessons. We did have the heart break of being dropped by the girl we
baked the cake for. She sent us this fourteen page long text message
talking about how grateful she was for us, how we put her back on a
spiritual path but she has been praying and has felt inspired to a
different direction. It was sad. We did have other people make steps
and come to conference though!

Now on to a couple humorous experiences this week. We're were walking
down this one street to go teach someone and as we were walking there
was this house just blaring Michael Jackson esque music. There was
this probably 80 year old woman on the porch just dancing up a storm.
It was hysterical. She looked over and saw us then slowed it down for
a bit but soon was going at it again.

There was another time we were driving and we were stopped at a red
light. All of a sudden this French fry flew out the window. Then
another, then another, then three more. We happened to follow this car
for about half a mile until we turned off and the entire time they
just kept throwing out French fries from their car. It was the most
confusing thing ever.

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

Today we had a Zone Activity.  We had fun playing kick ball and enjoying the nice weather!