Friday, December 26, 2014

22 December 2014


Christmas Miracles!

The spiritual highlight of the week would have been being able to observe our investigator at church and to be able to witness her drinking in the gospel. She is a young mother of 5 and usually whenever we visit, it is hard to create a spiritual environment so I can see how she revels in the spirit of the chapel and she is reading the scriptures and asking questions in classes and she is a real person with real issues. Some of the things she's shared are just so way out of my capacity to deal with as a missionary and generally as a person...  and seeing how the gospel is changing her very demeanor is so great!!! can't emphasise enough. she glows! she smiles! she's such a beautiful person, inside and out.
I don't know how long it will take but I definitely know that one day she will be baptised with her family and I look forward to the day. she's been pressured by missionaries in the past, but we know that as she continues to open her heart, she is going to ask to be baptised, she's been taught all the lessons and it is so cool because occassionally she'll just be like - so what was that about tithing? or what aws that about the word of wisdom? and you can see it clicking in her head that she's going to have to make changes to be a member but she is preparing herself for them! she isn't very opent o change, she was raised an Irish catholic, her family just move d from Ireland a few years ago actually and i LOVE their accent! and it also really helped just pointing out to her that that person was a convert and was taught for 3 months, that person was a convert and taught for years and used to swear at missionaries to get off his property and his member wife would be so ... embarrassed ... but look at him now! It's funny because she looked at him and she was like, I could see how he might have done that - but honestly hehehe the members are so great!

Another highlight would have been the power of asking really simple, direct questions. A less active basically wants to talk to us just whenever she fights with her husband but we were able to meet with her yesterday at the chapel and reestablish boundaries and it was so great, and we've tried teaching her before and it was awful, she wouldn't let us in and i had 10 mosquito bites which swelled and i was feeling almost homicidal because I realised I'm allergic to them and she just wont' stop talking sometimes (sorry to display my flaws so flagrantly but i feel it is apt for you to know what a miracle this was) so we had to gear ourselves up to meet with her and wonder we could be using our time more wisely and we honestly attribute her change of heart and openness to the environment of the chapel because she started committing herself to daily prayer and weekly church attendance to bridge the gap between her and God. and we promised her that if she put her relationship with God first, her relationship with her husband would work out - whether she was blessed with more patience to endure it, or blessed with the spirit to tell her how to voice things. and it was amazing! an amazing day all in all yesterday to finish a long week!

And another note:
The lyrics of "I heard the bells on Christmas day" ( #214 ) I think are beautiful. I encourage you to look them up! The third and fourth verse are my favourite. And when you read the lyrics in the context of the story which perhaps I will tell you about another day, or you could just look it up, really make it poignant.

And one last thing!

He who gives money, gives much
He who gives time, gives more
He who gives of himself, gives all.

Let us all reach into our souls and give from where it matters most this Christmas season.


Love you all!

Sister Magallanes 



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Monday 15 December 2014

Dear friends

I can't remember (again) the last time I updated my blog but Mt Barker has been turning into Zion in the interim. Did I tell you about last fast and testimony meetings and the very many testimonies which tugged at your heartstrings and helped you feel your own testimony lift? Because that was the calibre of last testimony meeting.

And some highlights from church this Sunday,
'deep and meaningful connections is what heals us'
'if you err in judgement, be sure to err on the side of love and mercy''  - both quotes from RS lesson I thought were beautiful.

Í'm feeling a bit scatter brained today - have you ever felt like your body was so hot but then your head and your headspace like there's this block around your head blocking your ears and the rest of the world and it feels like you have a cold, but it also feels like you are so very hot! And that has been me for the past few days this week but as you do, grin and bear it and go on and so on I go with the blog entry.


Thank you Hewie and Cindy for sending me our little mascot for our Christmas tree! 'They sent me a lion because lion's are courageous and so I named him Moroni because Moroni was a grand example of courage and fighting for what is right and I think we could all use a little of that in our day to day life. So Moroni the Lion adorns the top of our Christmas tree in lieu of a star or angel.

I also baked a pie! Which was fun. My companion and I enjoyed it.





We also had our ward Christmas party which Bec attended! I don't think I've told you about Bec yet. Bec is an amazing individual. She can cook up a storm, and if anybody's food could cure cancer, I'd line up for hers. Right now, she is preparing for baptism in March and aiming to read the Book of Mormon before then. I love her because I love her I can talk to her, and she can relate to my life experiences ( we are both avid readers) and just kind of on the same wavelength. And Matt is awesome too! It is so funny because my previous companion who served in this area told me about them but I never thought I'd ever meet them, but here we are. And I talked to my previous companion maybe a month ago and told her about Bec and she said, '' I knew you would be good for Bec!"" as she does. Sometimes you meet people on the mission and you invest so much of yourself in them and you watch them grow and increase in spiritual confidence and spiritual knowledge and they just have your entire heart.
So I really love Mt Barker ward.




One more thought tangent. I realised this week part of the reason why perhaps I had to go through one part of my mission at least with so much suffering. The kind where you spend your moments on your knees and  you pray for comfort, for release, for healing, for motivation, for energy, for everything and you get off your knees and cry yourself to sleep because the feeling hasn't lifted... and then you do that for almost two months. It is tough. But I think I know at least part of the reason why I had to go through that. Because when our investigator opened up, and is crying in front of you and pouring out their life story and how they don't feel like their prayers are being answered, they don't feel like they are receiving help, they do not feel loved or listened to and they know God is there but why isn't he helping when they need him the most? When they did that, I remembered my past experiences and well, you know, you cry with them. But then you tell them, and you tell them because you know that God hears and answers prayers. You tell them about the time you got up off your knees and felt the same weight in your heart and didn't realise that perhaps it was his blessing that even enabled you to stand. You tell them of beter days ahead and of a God who can see more than we ever could. And you tell them that you love them, but even your love (and this is why a missionary constantly has a broken heart and a contrite spirit. because some people throw your hearts right back into your face) is not comparable to the love Heavenly Father has for them.
And like I can tell you these things, but like Nephi says, it means more in person - which is strange for me because my medium has always been words. But now I know. You need to speak from the heart, and maybe sometimes we suffer so that one day we can be better teachers, better nurturers, better mothers someday. So you can look at a tearstained face and recognise it as your own and understand and love and begin the healing process.

Anyway, I love being a missionary. It is the best thing I have ever done. It truly is living after the manner of happiness. Nothing compares. And nothing means more to me - even though I used to think that all you need is love - but what is love without service? What is love without God? God is love.
I know these things are true. There are so many blessings all around me, it would take ... a whole other emailing session to mention them all :P
But today I am grateful that God has again reached out in love to his children, and he reaches out to all that read out for Him. And if you haven't found that out for yourself, then I invite you to try! To ask! Ask the missionaries - they can help!

With lots of love from chilly Mt Barker,

Sister Magallanes

PS

WATCH THIS VIDEO on:

It is all about love. (:

Monday, December 8, 2014

8 December 2014

Dear friends, 

Recently, because it is Christmas I have been studying the document "The Living Christ" and after I studied it I felt inspired to record some of my own thoughts and feelings about the Saviour which are as follows:

I know that Christ lives. I know that he lived before, long before I was born and that the holy scriptures and prophets bear witness of Him. I know he lives today, He visited the prophet Joseph Smith with His Father and he entreats us to follow Him, to use his atoning blood, to partake of his flesh and blood in remembrance of Him.
I know he is perfect, He is my big brother and my example, my Lord, my redeemer, the Messiah, The Christ.
I know that patterning my life after His teachings is he only true way to happiness. I know that putting Him first in my life allows all other things to fall into place.
I know He loves you all. He wants to save you all. I know this because I have seen a glimpse of the love He has for all of his children and that I have received because I have sincerely sought after it in prayer. I see beautiful people whose lives are changed or that can be changed through the gospel. Change is hard a lot of the time. But I think that is one of the miracles of the Atonement that I will forever be grateful, that change is possible. That you and I can be lifted out of the Telestial worlds we live in and taste an eternal happiness.

Jesus Christ means so much to me. It is such an honour, a sacred privilege to wear His name on my chest, to represent Him.

And I know by the power of the Holy Ghost who reminds me when I doubt, that I am meant to be here. That you are who I am meant to serve. I know what I gave up to be here - I gave up all I had and all I ever wanted, but I've found while I am here that my all is a small price for His all - and I will forever be an unprofitable servant. But that's okay. It is true. As you lose your life for his sake, you find it.
And you can find it too. You also can know Jesus is the Christ and say it with as much surety as I can. The Holy Ghost is constantly whispering these truths to you - are you recognizing them? Can you feel so now?
In the words of apostles and prophets, God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine son.

Because of Him (video)


Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting and Missionary Preparation Camp where a YSA from Adelaide stayed with us! The testimonies born were so powerful. And during the Christmas fireside, we had a musical number where we had to stand up in our seats, face the audience and sing to them I believe in Christ the third verse and then the audience were invited to sing the fourth verse with us (we couldn't all fit on the stand so a lot of us were just in the normal pews) and as I was at the very back, when we faced each other I was in the very front. And I looked out into the sea of people and I realised that I loved them. I saw a former investigator who broke my heart when we dropped her - we cried as we sang God be with yout ill we meet again - and there she was! I saw other investigators in previous areas I had prayed and fasted so much for. And I saw members, recent converts, rescued members, members who we have served and who served us and I realised ...... I love Adelaide! I love my mission. These people will always have a special place in my heart.

Running out of time so Sorry, maybe photos next week?

Love from the beautiful city of Adelaide and specifically from the chilly suburbs of the Adelaide Hills,

Sister Magallanes



Sunday, November 16, 2014

13 November 2014

My district is beautiful. But as it goes, next transfer week the face of it will change dramatically as 3 individuals have fought the good fight and are finishing their course with faith. And so, I decided this week's entry can be a photo run!

Until next time! 
Take care! Don't forget to invite - when you don't, you take away their agency....
Love to all,

Sister Magallanes :)





Thursday, October 30, 2014

20 October 2014


 So in the Mount Barker remix for this week, I have learned several things. Right now in our area, our teaching pool is very small so we are focusing very much on finding. Always, always finding. But I am very blessed my companion is a master-finder and she is showing me the way!
Another little highlight for me. Sometimes in lessons, Sister Goisisi quotes what I say and uses it as a parable of sorts for the lesson!!! It is so funny and it also really touches me. For example, last week, driving to Murray Bridge along the 110km/h freeway and eating lunch at the same time (don't try this at home kids) I was congratulating myself on not running over the lines - because the lines are bumpy and shake the car to let you know - and to put it into context, I am still a fairly new driver. And my companion just said, ít's okay companion! everybody drives on the line!' and I replied, ''if we both drove on the line, then we would crash" and she turned it into an analogy of living life on the edge versus truly living the commandments. 
I've also been suffering from hay fever headaches (new predicament) and it flares up excessively whenever it is combined with dogs or cats - of which I have found I am much more allergic to than I used to be before my mission. So that has been a pain (I sneeze very violently it seems) but we persevere! The work goes on! 
I also wanted to share with you all the media campaign happening in Adelaide. So you are supposed to post a picture of yourself on your social media site with the hashtag "'I pray when''and it is very funny because I barely know what hash tags are used for - this is what happens on your mission, you lose touch with technology, my little sister was ending her emails with double hash tag means well known or something ... but we decided to add some of our own :D
 
I pray when I need to! I pray when I want to talk to God. I pray when I want to ask God for blessings upon those around me. I pray when I am lonely, when I am happy, when I am sad. I pray when I am homesick. I pray when people are unkind to us. I pray when my companion talks in a lesson. I pray when I want to know God's will. I pray when I want to know the truth.
 
I love to pray! So, feel free to join in on this media campaign. I think it is very cute. :)
 


I think another highlight of the week would be this young man we met just when we were leaving our flat. He said pretty clearly that he was Atheist but he was willing to listen to our message and unfortunately he doesn't live in our area, but we left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon and he wants to read it! Whenever I think of Atheists I think of Alma's words to Korihor: all things denote there is a God. I know this is true. And I can feel it. In any case, we left him with our number and then just as we were about to leave, we asked him, so what were you doing here on the nature walk (right in front of our flat) anyway? And he wasn't waiting for someone to pick him up, he had just wandered there, right across our path. Truly, my prayer to be led to those seeking us is being answered! Everyday! 
I also wanted to share with you a little excerpt from President Uchtdorf's talk at the General Women's Meeting. It fits with my visual depiction of his concept. He said that some people believe that God has a whole load of blessings locked up in a cloud, and that he only unlocks it when we keep his commandments. This is not true. In fact, God pours blessings upon us constantly, in fact, he rains it upon us! But when we sin or are prideful or doubt, it acts like an umbrella, preventing us from receiving all of God's blessings. So let's all put whatever makes up our individual umbrellas down, and experience God's blessings as he wants us to. :)  
Have a great week! Don't forget to pray! Love, Sister Magallanes







13 October 2014

What a week! So for those who do not know, last weekend was General Conference weekend and the whole world had the mighty privilege of hearing from the Lord through the living Apostles and Prophet counsel for our day. The broadcast is recorded in Salt Lake City and then distributed to all the world - chapels and families and individuals watch it and learn. And I really wanted to be able to share with you all what I gained from conference, as well as to let you know how my week went in general. So here it goes! ps - not mentioning every speaker. To revel in that awesome experience, I recommend you watch the conference yourself!

Elder Robins 
Courage is the form of every virtue at the form of breaking point. Pilate was merciful until it became too hard.
This really related to my past week because my companion, Sister Goisisi is a master contacter! She is fearless is having conversations with people and her love for everyone is irrepressible. You can see it in her face. And as I strive to follow in her footsteps, and leave my fears behind and invite everyone I meet to listen to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, with all that fear gone I've found courage and excitement in its wake.
He also left with a commission to do good as anonymously as possible. And I witnessed that this week when my companion let a kid have a go on her bike (he wanted to show us a trick) and it blessed her much more than she anticipated when he was able to realise that her bike wasn't assembled properly and with the proper tools which he fortunately had in his backpack he was able to reassemble it! which made much smoother riding. Which is great, because we have been riding a lot lately and Mount Barker my new area is gorgeous.

Elder Wong
His take on the palsy story was so cool! he asked us all, do we know anyone who is spiritually paralysed and needs our help? He also invited Bishops to make better use of the Ward Council and to use the surging missionary force (my companion and I did a little fist pump) because they are eager and they are there. And my eyes burned because I felt it. I could feel how much this work meant to me and all I really want to do right now in my life is to be of service to God. And if our leaders knew that and knew how much we loved work, loved being busy, love being asked to minister or to teach people then maybe we would be in close harmony with the wards in which we serve. In any case..

Elder Christofferson
CJ Miles if you read my blog, I think you'd like his talk. You can probably find it in lds.org and look up general conference and look up his name and he should be in a Saturday session and it was awesome! It appealed to the part of me that studied law and grappled with those concepts in my deeper studies of the scriptures. One can very much be educated and religious. Scientific and religious. Anything and religious. Anyone can be religious!

Elder Oaks
Well, I basically loved how he called the world to repentance. He quoted someone and said 'though we disagree, we need not be disagreeable' and I was just reflecting on his style and how the world needs boldness right now.

Elder Anderson
He spoke about Joseph Smith and invited the youth to gain a testimony of his prophetic role in the restoration of the gospel themselves. And I just want it on the record also that my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith has grown immeasurably since I've been out on my mission. It has been cemented. And every time we quote his words, his testimony as he relates the visitation of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the First Vision - no matter the environment or the investigator, the Spirit of the Lord is always felt. Those who were heated calm down, those who wanted to talk pause to listen instead. And, it is just so powerful! Every time!

Elder Gavarett
He helped me to cement my purpose as a missionary and he reminded me that the message that I give is the Saviour's message.

Elder Holland
He quoted a journalist who said about Mother Theresa's work 'statistically speaking, her work was nothing.' But Christianity is not a statistical endeavour! He also said in Preach My Gospel that 'these people are not lifeless objects disguised as baptismal statitisics. They are children of God, our brothers and sisters, and they need what we have.' And the missionary focus tied in very well with Elder Bednar's talk on Sunday afternoon on why we share the gospel. 
Elder Hales 
Asked a question that I loved. He asked, do you remember the first time you know there was God and felt His love?
And I would like to share an experience connected to that that happened over the week. So my companion and I were bike riding down a slope when she saw someone sitting there as we whizzed by. We knew we had to turn around to talk to her - we felt it. And as we did, we got to know her a little bit. She was 15 years old and she opened up and my companion shared how not all families are nuclear or picture perfect but how she knew God loved her individually. And as the girl was having a moment, I related Joseph Smith's experience in the sacred grove to her. And she said 'that was powerful.' And then she explained how just as we rode by, she had run away from home for a bit and she was praying to God and asking if He was there and if He was, whether He was mindful of her when we stopped to talk to her and to tell her from our very souls that God lives and loves her and is mindful of her and had put us in each others paths that day. It is such a blessing to be an instrument in the hand of the Lord. I remember when I first knew that God was there and felt His love. And I was very blessed to watch this girl realise it for the first time also.
 
And I would like to close this general conference edition of the blog with words from our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. 
he said (according to my notes) to be a little better, be a little kinder, associate and respect those not of our faith. He said to remember the elderly and home-bound. And he promised us blessings from heaven, to come home safely, to become more valiant disciples and he left the Lord's blessings upon all of us.
 

I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet of God. He is the Lord's mouthpiece. God speaks to us today just as much as he did in ancient times. And through his prophet, God has called me to serve in Adelaide for a period of 18 months. I love this gospel, I love being a missionary. And most of all, I love that you don't have to rely on what I say, but you can know these things too. And God will speak to you through His Spirit, and you can know.

Sincerely Yours

Sister Magallanes 


Editor's Note: What were some of your favourite highlights during this most recent General's Conference? Sister Magallanes would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or write her a letter: 

Sister Ellen Louise Magallanes 
Austalia Adelaide Mission
PO Box 97
Marden SA 5070 

(For local followers, it's only $0.70 for a post stamp! :D) 


Friday, September 26, 2014

22 September 2014

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We have been so blessed this past week! And I will just share with you my highlight. Desiree was baptised! Desiree is really special - I know she looks really petite but I promise you she has so much inner strength. After her baptism, during the baptismal service, we gave her the opportunity to share her testimony and although normally she is a little shy, she really opened up! And she shared her conversion story and how she had denied the faith of her childhood for more than a decade but when typhoon Haiyan came she saw God's power and she thought she was going to die and the kitchen had washed out and she saw some scriptures float out of a hiding place her mum put it in (her dad was not a member of the church and did not approve of any church literature) and it was covered in mud but otherwise undamaged and she knew through these personal trials, her family trials, the trials of her whole city that it was time to go back to God. And you could see how much it meant to her to be baptised this day into the Lord's church and to have the opportunity to start again, to literally be reborn and ... that was the highlight of her baptism. I've noticed for baptisms of different people, different things stand out. I remember for the first baptism I had on my mission, I felt the Spirit really strongly as she walked into the font and went under the water and came back up again - because she was glowing. And it is just such a privilege to be able to help people make changes in their life to bring them closer to God, and such a blessing to be able to watch their journey. My own faith is fortified so much in this journey, everyday.

And I am so excited for my little sister Eliza - soon to be Sister Magallanes - who has been called to serve in the Philippines Quezon City North mission - right next to my brother in Angeles which is super cute. I know she will have many more such amazing stories and meet such a wide diversity of people from which she will learn so much from - and my experience with Desiree from the Philippines is like a taste of their missions haha. But each mission is so unique! And I ponder sometimes why I've been sent to Adelaide and what I can do for the people here and some personal reflections just include that: the Lord needed me to keep up my English for whatever reason, the Lord needed me to learn how to do missionary work in such a way that I can apply it pretty much straight off the plane when I get back, I needed President and Sister Carter, I needed my companions, I needed the people I am teaching and meeting everyday, I needed a "hard" mission - one with lower baptismal statistics and people not so open or friendly on the streets (the ironic Adelaide city of churches has a lot of non-church goers it seems - but there are many church buildings! I can testify to that!) because only in this kind of environment could I learn the lessons I need to, could I find courage and faith and extroversion even. So, those are a few of my reflections.

I love this work! I truly do. With all my heart. And I can't believe how quickly time flies but I love being in the middle of my mission and as far as I'm concerned, I intend to stay in the mindset of the middle of the mission as time ticks on. I love serving in Christies Beach! I'm really beginning to suspect that Christies Beach is Zion because people literally turn up to church who live in our area - and our chapel building isn't even in our area! Isn't it cool how the Holy Spirit works, prompting those who are ready? My prayers are answered to lead us to those who are searching for us or to lead them to us.

It's just so great. Words cannot express it. I think it is so great partly because you give up all that you have to be here. Not only all that you have - but all that you are. And as you lose yourself, I've seen the promise of the Savior to be true - I have found myself.

Love to you all! So excited to hear that the work in humble Hassall Grove ward is booming! ZAAM it up family! I hope everybody that reads this will be able to see the miracles in the everyday. Because they are there! And a grateful heart is step 1 to seeing the tender mercies of the Lord in your life that Nephi speaks of. 

Love,

Sister Magallanes


Friday, September 12, 2014

8 September 2014

As usual my brain is scattered and thoughts fly everywhere but I did note down during the week things that happened that I thought would be good to note down and share and so, here we go!

There's a new Mormon Message that I thought was really powerful. An Elder described it to me as a "James Bond" Mormon Message and naturally, my curiosity was piqued and I can see the James Bond (because of his suit and his hair being too long for an Elder) but I really, really loved the cinematography of the Mormon Message - the mis-en-scene and how minimalistic the setting was. Unfortunately I can't remember the title but bear with me!!! It is about an Atheist man and his journey to finding God. Favourite scenes include when he is literally walking up and down that desert terrain - reflective of the ups and downs of life. The bbq in the middle of the desert also made so much sense to me because that is how ... jarring or dissonant those happy families and faces were to his life. And little things like the slow motion rewind of the water in the pan representing his fast. The overall message was that perhaps it isn't that the Lord doesn't speak to us, He speaks to us all the time. The real question is are we listening? Are we recognising that things come from Him? Are we even at a point in our life where we are able to? And no matter where we are on our journey of faith, just trust that God knows where you are and He will lead you back to Him. Trust in Him. Trust that there is more, trust that you will receive (or recognise) the answers to your prayers...
Maybe Eliza if you could attach the Mormon Message then people could stop scratching their heads about this video but it is great! We've shown it to a few people. 

Other things... last week I finished reading the New Testament!
I love drinking from the written word. To be honest, a lot of it was a bit hard for me to understand but after Revelations and realising things are meant to be taken symbolically a lot of the time and things are hard to understand without the context of the time period or culture then that helped. it also strengthened my testimony that although I love the Bible, a lot of plain and precious truths have been removed - I can see that, and it strengthens my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I am up to Alma now in the Book of Mormon (I read things concurrently as you can see...) and I just read over chapter 5 and this is my favourite chapter because if you are in the right place, the Spirit can be felt there and it really convicts you. I love how bold Alma is and I'm so grateful that his powerful testimony and example is recorded and that I have access to it! I'm able to learn and hopefully apply it in my daily life. 

This past week my companion and I were also very blessed (my companion was especially blessed! She's so funny - have I ever told you about her wry sense of humour?) to give training in district meeting! We shared some scriptures I'll share with you briefly (by the way, if I start talking with too much jargon - feel free to ask for an explanation. I think my email is on the webpage somewhere). In John 21:13-18 Jesus asks Peter if he loves him three times. Peter says, 'Yes Lord, you know I love you to which Jesus responds 'feed my lambs'. And then the second time and third time Peter says yes, the Lord tells him to feed my sheep. I would refer to the scriptures themselves for a more accurate reading... but in any case! The mandate from Christ is quite clear! Feed the lambs! Feed the sheep! But who are the sheep? In terms of missionary work, sheep are all around us. And they make the tenuous steps back into the Good Shepherd's fold when they first accept the invitation to listen to the message of the restored gospel. And this leads us to another scripture. Ezekiel 34 and vs 2 of that says 'Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?' and then the Lord goes on to reprove those shepherds in that verse. Woe be to the missionaries that feed themselves and not the sheep.... And with the adage 'every member a missionary' perhaps woe to a few more other people also..... Giving training on something we were struggling with (finding new investigators) really helped to open our minds. So with more determination we set out to properly follow up those who had accepted an invitation to listen to the restored gospel. And many blessings followed! And one of them was a Filipino lady and her beautiful young family. She's been through a lot and because she's Filipino - it always reminds me of home. Not in a homesick way - just in a that her accent, her children, her household even is all that little bit familiar. And we are going to visit them again next Tuesday!
So, not sure why I shared that. Maybe to help me remember in the future to feed the sheep (find the lambs, feed the sheep! Gordon B. Hinckley, 1999. that reference was awful but it was a really good talk!) or to help me to remember to trust in the Lord more. He will see us through. That I have definitely learnt!

We have another beautiful (everybody in Adelaide is beautiful by the way) sister preparing for baptism in the upcoming weeks! Her testimony is so tender. I feel very blessed to have been a part of her journey into the restored gospel. 

Other fun things - I'm still baking! (there is a picture. sorry, it is the only picture I've taken lately...) Today is P-day so I made banana bread and I'm going to experiment making some kind of pizza (thanks Tita Tasmin for the recipe!) for lunch. And it is always great fun being able to share the spoils of my labour. 


Isn't the gospel beautiful? Isn't the world beautiful? How blessed are we to live in a day and age where the secrets to peace and happiness are not so secret after all! I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. I know that my Saviour, even Jesus Christ, loves me and atoned for me personally. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored in these latter days and I am so blessed to be able to represent that church, to represent even the Savior in preaching the gospel to the world (one person at a time.....).

Love to you all from Adelaide!


Sister Magallanes

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

25 August 2014

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When you can't remember the last time you made an entry that usually isn't a very good indication of how your blog is going. So I spent some time today reflecting on what to share and as I reflected I realised that I have witnessed very many miracles in my first transfer in Christies Beach. Now, with the advent of a new transfer, I look forward to a second transfer! An upcoming baptism in September, and I know that many might (and humble) prayers will be said and many more miracles await. But before I get too excited about the future, I would like to reflect a bit about the past. After all, my blog purpose has a dual purpose - to record my missionary experience (how many times will I get to say that I am a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ? For how long will I be privy to such daily revelation, how long will I be able to wear this missionary mantle?) and also as an avenue to bear my testimony. My sister added a third purpose, to express gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the many blessings I am showered with day by day. So, without further ado!

Sandy's baptism

Sandy is one amazing lady. As I mentioned, I can't remember what I have or haven't told you about Sandy (have I even mentioned her at all? the difficulties of choosing not to look at my own blog site on my mission - like I think the background is pink but I can't really remember) but there's a term in missionary lingo for people like her - golden. Over the past few years, due to the agency of others and things outside of her control, she has had both of her legs amputated below the knee. And she first came into contact with the church, well actually her father knew the missionaries back in another state in Australia. He would wait all afternoon for the elders to come and knock on his door and then he would smash them with questions and quotes from the Bible. In any case, not sure what kind of impression that left on her but many years later, she met a latter-day saint and they became fast friends! She invited Sandy over for tea (tea is dinner here in South Australia. It is quite amusing. When I first came here I wondered whether South Australians had somehow exempted themselves from the Word of Wisdom hahaha) and also invited the missionaries! And since then, Sandy has been drinking from the living waters. There are so many miracles related to her conversion story. So many of her prayers were answered. She's an artist also and while she was in hospital (did I mention that it's also been a very dramatic ride? fire brigades, smoke alarms, four course meals split over two days, service projects, swimming pools...) she was reading the Book of Mormon and she kept feeling like someone was staring at her from out of the pages. And she drew Him and she didn't intend to draw anyone in particular, only the person that was staring at her and as she was drawing we witnessed together the striking resemblance to Jesus Christ. And she said that is how she feels as she reads the Bible and so she knows that the Book of Mormon is from God also.

And as a double amputee, you can imagine the interesting pickle that we got ourselves in when considering the logistics of her baptism. The baptismal font is not wheelchair friendly with its stairs and narrow corridors. And even though she was so ready to be baptised at the beginning of August, we had to wait because we had no venue. The beach was out because she could not get sand in her prosthetics and as we were brainstorming and all praying about it she remembered a pool she used to take her daughter to that had wheelchair access - in fact it was designed and created for people with disabilities or handicaps. And she had connections to them! Unfortunately it seemed that she would have to wait a few months for the pool to clear up enough for us to book it and perform a baptism, but then a sliver of opportunity presented itself last Saturday for one hour. And we took it! Sandy truly showed faith in every footstep. Even her baptismal clothing (she couldn't wear anything longer than where her legs stopped due to safety reasons) and then the ever present issue of the modesty of wet, white clothing and in addition to that pressed funds which made shopping an interesting exercise. But many prayers were said and opportunities and solutions always just presented themselves!

And something funny, the doctor who had to amputate both of her legs is a member of our church and he wasn't able to attend the baptism because of work but he met up with her after and he said - you don't even have to tell me that you've been baptised and confirmed. I can see it in your face. You glow again, like I never knew you could after what has happened. You have your spark again. And that meant a lot to Sandy.
So, miracles all around! Glory be to God! And mum and dad, I've said she has a place to stay if she ever comes to Sydney, okay? Because she is a very special.


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Something else that has happened recently is that my companion showed me an example of truly loving those we teach. I think I realised something about myself - the only trait that I find remotely lawyer-ly in myself is that I have this strong sense of justice. I don't accept feeling wronged very well. But one day, due to circumstances out of our control, we found ourselves in the firing line of somebody we were teaching. They just grilled us and blamed us for everything that had happened to them in the past week and a half. And I've studied charity and read that consecrated missionary talk. So I said we were sorry. I said we accept blame. But it wasn't enough, she kept going and going and going and we were both pretty close to being quite upset. And my companion took the phone from me and she said, 'Thank you for letting us know these things.' And then they ranted and blamed us some more and told us how we could be doing our job better in a few other ways and my companion said again, 'Thank you for letting us know these things. Now we can try to do better.' And I know my companion was feeling as frustrated as I and after that conversation we were both really upset still and she coloured in a picture and I started baking en masse (baking is a great stress-reliever when you can manage it. And then you can eat what you've baked! Hahaha!) but I really admire how despite how she was feeling, she was able to tell our friend exactly what they needed to hear. Which in this case wasn't necessarily an apology but more of a submitting to their will, completely humbling yourself. Quite an experience. She's amazing, my companion :) I feel very blessed to be serving with her!

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And another experience over the past week. We had been meaning to visit a sister in the ward who had been looking sad ever since she had gotten back from the funeral of her older brother and so we visited her yesterday and when we came over, her younger brother was living with her. And it was the night before he began chemotherapy treatments. Now, he isn't a member of the church and his belief in God is only so-so but I know that we were in the right place at the right time. We were able to share and discuss Psalms 23 -  David's psalm about the Lord is my shepherd. And then we were able to sing that hymn (#108). And we talked about the song and about how some of it really is mourning, it is grieving, David did some things not pleasing to God and he was quite remorseful, but at the same time, in another part of the song, you can hear the hope that he has still for eternal life, for something more, for the love of His Redeemer. And it is so, so beautiful. And I pray that his treatment will go well.


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And if you really know me (last thing I promise!) you will know that yesterday I turned 21 (a/n: That is, 24 August 2014)! And I realised I had been quite spoilt (or overly blessed haha) in my life thus far because my experience of birthdays have been really great. It becomes an avenue for people to express what I mean to them and all that - and I love that about birthdays - other people's birthdays especially. But on a mission, you don't really get a day off. And you certainly don't get a day to yourself. And I've been writing some poetry (ha!) lately and unfortunately my skill level hasn't progressed much since the haiku and limericks that I learnt in primary school but here we go: 

There are no days off
Each day I am more than me
I represent Him

And that's my 21st birthday! And this has been my week. Love to you all! I think if I could invite you to do one thing, it would be to pause and reflect on the miracles you see in your day to day life. A miracle is an event that cannot be wrought by mankind. It is the hand of the Lord in your life. And they are all about you! I promise you! God is a loving God! He wants to bless you, and he wants to hear from you! 

So have a wonderful week, and god bless.

Sister Magallanes 

Friday, July 25, 2014

21 July 2014

Let me tell you a story. I've just transferred areas (to a place called Christies Beach! It's gorgeous. Our area is basically the coastline. When I step outside of the flat in the crisp morning I can smell the beach) and I met a former investigator. Sister Watson, my new chill-pickle-awesome companion warned me that this elderly lady likes to call missionaries by their first names. And so I said, well okay that's strange and was kind of dismissive. And when I first introduced myself she asked for my Christian name and I just repeated my missionary name and she let it slide. And then later on in the conversation, after she had called my companion by her first name several times, she asks again for my first name (fair enough, everybody struggles with my last name) and this time I explained I would prefer not to give it. I've always refrained from giving out my first name because my reasoning is once people realise how simple my first name is, they will have even LESS incentive to try and remember or pronounce my last name.... But it is not just that. She asked me why I would prefer to be called by my first name and gave me the opportunity to tell her why which is something I would like to share with all of you. When a missionary leaves on their mission, they have been called of God by a living prophet to minister to the people in their assigned field of labour. When a missionary leaves on their mission, they leave behind their home, their family, their employment, their education, their friends. When a missionary is on their mission they sacrifice any romantic passions, any disobedience, any pride, any fear - these things they give up and place on the altar of sacrifice. And as part of that, I truly believe that I give up my first name. I'm not YSA anymore. I'm not happy go lucky, absorbed in my own (no matter how terribly fascinating or busy) world. I am a missionary. I represent the Saviour. And my title, Sister Magallanes, is a reflection of this service and this sacrifice.
And that's how I escaped out of revealing my first name! :)

I really love it here in Christies. The work is so great! We met an Atheist man the other day and he told us he has Asperger's and it makes it difficult for him to read people. He can tell bullies from a mile away he says, and he is right most of the time. And I asked him what he could see in us. And he laughed and said we weren't bullies but then just before he left he said something even more interesting. He said that when he saw us, he could see two bright lights. And then he laughed at himself - an Atheist seeing a bright light within a Mormon missionary. And I told him I'd write this down in my journal to record it! And it is true. It is so true. Even the unbelieving can see there is something in us. And I feel so very humbled to realise that the Lord has chosen me to be his vessel, his instrument, his hands in preaching his gospel - in preaching faith, repentance and baptism - to his children in these latter days.

I love this gospel. I love it so much. I think my heart has been singing a lot recently, skipping along to its own merry tune and sometimes (often times) it breaks free and I sing aloud too - to the absolute .... delight...... of my companion. I jest, she sings with me! Each step really can be joyful, no matter how heavy or how harsh the circumstance. The past few transfers have helped me to see that. And now, I think I'm happier because God has blessed me with a taste of his perspective. Finally my desires are more aligned with his, and each day and in each prayer there are so many things to be grateful for!

Here are some pictures! Christies Beach after a morning run and the lovely Sister Watson and I. Next time I hope to tell you about more of the amazing people I have met here!

I love you all! Let us be pricked in our hearts this week and continually ask 'what shall we do?' And maybe if you're lucky you'll find the answer in Acts 2:38!