Friday, February 21, 2014

February 17
What to say, what to say?
This is a picture of my American companion (who is the boss) (if you didn't know already) who loves LOVES Tim Tams. Like to be fair, the only Tim Tams from that packet I ate were three bites to check whether there was any caramel in them (there wasn't). I've committed to provide her with a lifelong supply when she goes home.

How is the work doing?
The work is going great! I love missionary work! I love being a missionary. A lot of little things I find quite funny in retrospect such as the fact that saying "we love you" at the end of sentences comes totally naturally to me now and that's because of the loving environment of ZAAM. The Zion Australia Adelaide Mission. 
We want to be united! One heart and one mind, you know? We want to be ZAAM-ed!
Time is running out. A picture speaks a thousand words is my defence.

I love you all, and I love the work!

PS Anneliese - got your email! I will reply next week :) I was glad to read your last two PS's. Anna-lee you are the bomb, okay? Sending you love from Adelaide!
Today blog, I have about 7 minutes to tell you about the past few weeks? So, in a nut shell:
- We have a friend from Sri Lanka and she cooks us really spicy food that makes me cry but she says I have to keep eating so that I can practice practice practice!
- Iranian food is the bomb. The (you pick up the oddest phrases as a missionary - one of my other personal favourites is the "too far" one)
I'm really terrible at this and I do apologise I feel so scatterbrained and before I sleep I think of things I want to write about somewhere (if you knew me well you'd know I did keep a blog before my mission as well as an assortment of journals and generally I quite liked to write) but as I try to gather my thoughts and reflect on the past week I come back a little .. blank

- Michelle if you're reading this- this is for you. In district training we were learning how to teach someone the importance of church and how to invite someone to church and something that we do as missionaries quite a lot actually is role play. And when we role played with the Elders, perhaps I wasn't really feeling it and I feel like I was just being the good old Sunday School kid mouthing the words I have memorised but being a missionary isn't about reiterating memorised phrases, it's about teaching real people truths that you have a personal testimony about. I used to wonder why someone on the street would care about whether I knew that there was a God and that he was my Father in Heaven and that He loved me. Why would they care that when down it really is solace to my soul to know I can turn to him in secret prayer? Why would they care when they don't even know me? But people do care and I think I'm learning to be more myself. And something that helped me was you Michelle. So, one of my Zone Leaders counselled me to forget who I am, forget Sister Magallanes and to be just my first name and to invite someone that I cared about at home to church. And Chelle, I thought of you! I thought you could so totally come to church with me and meet my friends, my bishop, sing some hymns and have your own kind of spiritual experiences and I wanted that for you (and I feel really bad for .. you know essentially loving these strangers more than I loved my friends at home? If I truly know that the gospel has blessed my life and that it can bless others then why strangers before friends? I also want to clarify that I am not upset for not dragging anyone to church .. I am more upset for not telling anyone how much it meant to me, for not taking the time to tell them what it means to me and how I came to know it and for not inviting them to partake of that joy? I always just assumed ... nobody wanted it). I can't even remember what I said when I taught that pretend lesson but my companion (who if you don't already know, is really super awesome) she felt something and she said she could see me - like who I really am? - shining through and that was powerful. I have been called of God not for my Sunday School answers but for all of my life experiences. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. Did you know that? That's what I am wearing on my badge. He isn't here to minister to the masses, but I have volunteered 18 months of my life to do this on His behalf.

Something else that is different now is that I used to feel like I fell short from what I wanted to be all the time. And you'd think, I'm supposed to represent Jesus Christ in my actions and how I teach and everything, how must I cope with falling short now? Well let me tell you. I cope because I (perhaps finally) know that it is okay to fall short. Perfection isn't an ultimate goal but more of a process. And as long as there is progression, perfection can be within your grasp. And when I do fall short, I know that the person I represent, Jesus Christ, He knows how I feel. He understands my heartbreak (and even though I've only been out 2 months there has been much heart break at times). And through Him, I know that I can repent and I can do better and that eventually, all will be well. It's a powerful thing to know. And it comes so naturally this knowledge when your will is aligned with His as much as it can be.

I remember once Michelle told me that my bullet points kind of go on forever... So, I'm still me, but I also hope you can see that I am more now also. I am really happy. I love what I do. I love the people I meet and my life experiences have been widened so much by leaping so terribly far from my comfort zone. 
But more than that I suppose I really am just grateful for the wonderful opportunity that has been afforded me to be a missionary. I mean two months have just flown by. I want to make the most of all the time I have left!!!

I love you all!

Sister Magallanes

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I learnt something that really touched me the other week. I think that I had spent my whole life up until my mission really kind of relying on my own talents to get me by in life. This is what came naturally, this is what everyone else around me did growing up. But on my mission I have learnt that no matter how talented anyone may be, no matter what array or special skillset you have been blessed with in life, on your mission, it will not be enough. Whatever arbitrary number I was, I was nothing compared to the infinite Spirit. But again, no matter what arbitrary number I am, together with the infinite Spirit, we will be infinite. And I love that. Perhaps I didn't explain that too well but I hope you can see past the awkwardness of my expression (and give me a break, I have an hour and a half to write my long happy letter to my mission president, and then to write to my family and then to write to my blog so I am trying!!!!) and into the message behind that. And I know that wherever you are in life, if you rely on God then you really can achieve things that seem impossible.
Meet my new companion! Sister Moss.
Now, a photo run. Meet my new companion! Sister Moss. Shannel, her hair is as curly as yours! She's so awesome. She's from Utah and she's told me all about her family and they sound so awesome and I let her read the plane letter Ella wrote to me (she basically told me very wise things like 'lock your heart' and 'if you didn't look pretty when you were upset at home you're not going to look pretty on your mission field' and she's 9 years old and where did she get all this wisdom? Sister 'Atu was the youngest child. I feel like she'd get along really well with Ella).
Then it is my district. Or my old district, but I love them heaps! This is also the chapel in Marion. And Sister Atu and I on a Pday where we got so totally spoiled by a member and she is the bomb. She's from France! Sister 'Atu is so loved last week everybody showered love upon her and I kind of just went along for the ride. Young came too!!!! But I didn't take a photo of all of us :( We went to the Botanical Gardens in the city! Sister 'Atu was like - is this really Australia why is it so green? And I just laughed and laughed.
There's a great talk (why does nobody sends me talks? Don't worry about Nutella, there's a huge tub that my companion doesn't eat - hehe - but I love to be nourished by the good word of God in my spare time!) about unity and companionship and love that I adored. I'll share my insights another time!
I hope all is well and you all had a lovely Australia Day and I suspect my accent is going to get 15x more American because Sister Moss hasn't gained the Australian accent yet and of course, I am no help....
But I'd love to just leave you with my testimony. I know that there is nothing else in the world that I would be rather be doing than serving a mission, right where I have been called to serve in the 40 degree plus weather of Adelaide. I know Jesus Christ lives. I love the Book of Mormon. And I am so grateful for everything I have been blessed with :)
And I am out of time!!!
Love you all!
Sister Magallanes