Monday, 19 December 2016

Monday December 19, 2017 - The One with the Cheap Shoes

This has been a good week here in Pineville. If I'm being honest this
will probably be the last group email report I'll send. I'm thinking next
week I'd rather spend time getting my stuff packed and saying goodbye
than spending time on writing a group message. If you write me
individually I'll try and get back though.

The week has been different. We lost Elder Merrill last week so it's
been lonely with just the two of us. His companion injured himself on
PDay last week while skating so he had to spend half of the week sitting in the
apartment with his new companion. 

We went on an exchange this week with the Elders in Fort Mill. I went
down there and it was good. We were able to find a new person for them
to teach which they've been struggling with. We did some service at a pretty 
nice thrift store. I actually bought myself a pair of shoes that were
basically brand new. The great thing was they were Johnson & Murphy
loafers that probably would retail around $250-$300 but I got them for
$7. They were too good of a deal to pass up. I really wanted to go my
whole mission wearing the same shoes and not buying anymore. 
I've accomplished the first part but I guess not the second.
My new shoes

Our Zone in our Nativity Costumes...Yes Baby Jesus was played by a basketball!

We had a great Zone Meeting this week. President Alexander came and
said he enjoyed it. All of the training given was based on characters from 
the story of the Nativity and we wore costumes. Our bishop provided a
stable and the costumes. We took a big Zone photo afterwords with
everyone dressed up. After the meeting we all ate lunch that a member
prepared for us.
After the meeting we went on exchange with the Catawba Elders. Elder
Bishop came to Pineville with me. We had a good time together. We had
dinner with Linda and Lisa, our African friends who were baptized in
September. They did another African dinner for us. It was so good.
Elder Bishop really liked it too. We a tofu with an oxtail and cow
feet soup and ate with our hands.

The next day after exchanging back we drove up to Matthews for a
baptism. Elder Peterson and his companion had a baptism of a really
great Family. We were the ones to find them we and taught them a few
times but they lived in the Assistants areas so we referred them over.
Well one of the daughters of the family asked me to baptize her so we
got to go over for me to do that. It was really nice. The mom told the
story of how the first time we met she was in the other room while I
taught the kids. She was like "Elder Galvin probably didn't realize I
was listening the whole time, but I was soaking it in" we eventually
invited her to meet with the missionaries in her area and she was like,
nah, I'll meet with the ones in Pineville. We had to push it a bit but
she just fell in love with Elder Peterson and Blanco so it was great.
It's great to see the fruits of you're labours, although it stinks because
that's the second family I've found that lived outside my area that
ended up getting baptized. The other was the Beam's last month. Ugh. But
it's all okay.

This Saturday afternoon we stopped by one of our new investigators. He
is an Indian guy in his twenties who has a lot of friends who are
members that he met at university. He's been to church a few times and
even attended a baptism. Sounds pretty great right?  Well we go in and
get to teach him for the first time. We met him a month ago and never
got back in contact until now. We thought we'd give it one more chance. 
Well we go in and have the most textbook lesson. 30 minutes long. About
a third spent on How to Begin Teaching, a third actually teaching and a third
spent helping him make and keep commitments. It's going so well and
he's accepting everything wonderfully. He understands how to get an
answer he's excited to read the Book of Mormon. He's planning on
attending church with us etc. Well then we invite him to be baptized
and he responded emphatically with an 'absolutely not I will never be
baptized'. We were kind of taken aback and he continues by saying he
is Hindu and has always been a Hindu and that's his god given identity
that he will never change. Not wanting to fight we had him say a
prayer (which was incredible, he said all the things we asked him to)
and then we left. Hopefully the spirit gets him through reading the Book of Mormon!

Church was wonderful this week. It was our wards Christmas program. I
played the piano for two songs and sang in the choir as well . Overall, it 
was a really good week. We have been beat dead tired because of all the 
things we've had to plan for for as far as meetings, all while trying to build 
and maintain a teaching pool. It's been busy and I might just die before I 
get home but that's okay.

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

Elders Peterson, Blanco and I at the Baptism

Merry Christmas!

Monday December 12, 2017 - The One with the Wedding

Oh my gosh. This week has been insane! Though that's basically every
week. But this one in particular.

Okay. First some more crazy emergency transfer news that we had to
deal with. On Monday we found out hat there was a struggling Elder
that was going to be coming down to be in the ward adjacent to us. It
meant we lost a good Elder who would need to replace him in his old 
area so we were pretty bummed about it. Well yesterday we found out 
it was about to get worse. The struggling Elder ended up having to go 
home, he actually left this morning. But that left a vacancy in our zone. 
So who did they decide to steal from us, yep, that's right, Elder Merrill! :(  
President said it should only be for a couple of days while he figures out 
what's going on and who to fill the gap with but we have no timeline.

So, as I'm sure many of you know, my mission was extended a couple of
weeks longer than it was supposed to be. This unfortunately pushed me
back over Christmas meaning I'll have spent a total of three Christmases as a
missionary. I think I've finally figured out the why. We've been
working with this Hispanic couple for months now and they were married
this past Saturday. It was so nice helping them plan the wedding. We
each chipped in about $50 to help him buy a suit and we had a member
help out with getting her a dress. They were super grateful because
they really don't want to be a burden. Well there were decorations and

a cake and a photographer and all the good things a wedding should
have. Now their baptism is scheduled for Christmas Eve and their
confirmation for Christmas Day so if I had gone home when I was
supposed to, I wouldn't have been able to be here for any of it.

The rest of the week was pretty average. We had a meeting all day
Tuesday and spent the next day planning our Zone Meeting with the
Sisters. We are going to be having a Nativity themed meeting complete
with costumes and everything. It's going to be a lot of fun.

This week I went on two exchanges. One of them was with Elder Peterson
which was really nice. We got to go and teach this family I taught a
few times in Pineville before referring them over to the Assistants.
We were talking about their baptism, and one of the girls asked me to
baptize her because I was the one who got her started. It was nice.
Elder Rasmussen was so tired after the exchanges that he fell asleep
in his full proselyting outfit right after planning. I did call ins
and woke him up at 10:30 and was like, you'll probably want to change,
he barely opened his eyes to look at me then turned over and went back
to bed. Where he stayed. He said he has never woken up so ready. ;)

Send me pictures, read your scriptures,
Merry Christmas!
Elder Galvin

We went Skating as a district activity today

After Skating...yes there was an injury if you look close you will see 

Friday, 9 December 2016

Monday Dec. 5, 2016 - The One where I lead a Choir

This has been a pretty good week again here in Pineville. 

Monday night was a bit if a wired one. We got a call from the Sister missionaries in our
ward saying that they had just got off the phone with President
Alexander and Sister Stensrud was going to be emergency transferred
out of the area. They were in a trio and there was a Sister going home
so they needed to have someone replace her. It was super sad. We were
eating dinner with a member family afterwords and they stopped in to
say good bye to the member and to us. We got a picture.

Tuesday we spent half of the day in the car. We had to leave super
early in the morning to drive two hours through traffic in Charlotte
to be miles efficient and get all the way to Statesville. Elder
Merrill had a doctors appointment there since the doctor is a member
of the church he can usually get missionaries in faster than other
places. He left with two prescriptions (which have done nothing) a
shot to the head (which did nothing) and some blood work (which showed
nothing). We are working on trying to get him an MRI done.

After District a meeting in Wednesday I went on another exchange. I
went with Elder Garrett in the Providence Ward and we had a good time.
We went to a Five Guys for lunch. I haven't had that in forever and it
was really good.

The rest of the week was a blur. We did missionary stuff, had a couple
conference calls with President Alexander. I had forgotten how hectic
things get around Christmas time with meetings. It was the exact same
last year. Plus we are trying to figure out all of these exchanges we
have to go on.

We did have a super crazy busy day on Friday. We had teaching appointments
in the afternoon, a dinner, and we had to be in Catawba at 6:00 to do
baptismal interviews. Our member for dinner had asked us to help him
mount a TV so we had to go by on Saturday to help him out since we
didn't have any time. We were hoping to split up but no one could drive
us so we had to move our dinner up an hour to 4:00, eat super fast and
leave so we could fight traffic to make it there in time. We we ended
up ten minutes late anyways. But oh well. The great thing about the
interviews is out of the about a dozen I've done it seems like the way
it goes I always end up interviewing the kids and teenagers. But on
Friday I interviewed my first adult. I thought it would be a lot
different but I've role played it enough times so it wasn't. Oh well.

Saturday night was the Nativity festival in our stake. All of us
missionaries did a choir and sang a few songs. So I was put in charge
of directing it which was crazy since I've never done that before. I
spent some time this week printing off music for everyone,
highlighting their parts, making arrangements for the different songs.
It was crazy. And to top it all off, we only have 45 minutes to
practice and put it all together. By the grace of god we were able to
do it and it sounded pretty good. President and Sister Alexander were
there watching us.

Funny side story to that, so apparently I was bouncing up and down as I was
conducting so President came up to me jokingly and said that I needed
to read the missionary handbook because he's pretty sure dancing is
against the rules. He then goes around to like everyone making fun of
me. He was cracking up.

Sunday was really great. Now I don't want to sound prideful when
telling this next story but it really warmed my heart. We had
testimony Meeting at church this week obviously with it being Fast 
and Testimony meeting and little DiDi Hernandez got up there and bore 
her testimony and talked about how I was her favourite missionary of all 
time and she was grateful for all the things I taught her. Then there were 
so many people who came up and said the same thing. Linda Ladans who 
was baptized back in September was going around telling a couple of visitors 
that I was her favourite and that I was "her missionary" and how I baptized her
daughter. It was really nice. One of my goals as a missionary was to
"be someone's missionary" looks like I got it!

Overall a good week!
Send me pictures, read your scriptures,
Love you!
Elder Galvin