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 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)