Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Hi there Family and Friends, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!  I had a great Christmas, but it was more of the Christmas Season, rather than the day, that impacted my mind. 

Now if you'll bear with me for a moment, I want to talk about the movie Holes.

In the movie Holes, and I will only talk about the movie and not the book because I never bothered to read it, there is a flashback in which we see the quaint town of Greenlake.  This whole flashback focuses on Kate Barlow, but I would like to focus my attention on Sam, the onion farmer.  At various points in the flashback Kate has a series of problems, and when she brings them up to Sam he simply replies, "I can fix that".  Now this short reply shows a great capacity in Sam to serve without any thought for himself.

Now a short story from this Christmas Season (this will all make sense at the end, just wait).  Elder Ayre and I were off to try and teach a lesson to a great young man, unfortunately he was sleeping.  Sure it was 2:30 in the afternoon, but we've all slept in like that before.  We managed to meet with his lovely mother for a while.  I had noticed when we walked in their house that her front door was broken and wasn't working properly.  After sharing a short message and agreeing to come back in a couple days I informed her that I could fix her door for her if she wanted.  She asked if I was sure that I was willing to do that.  I told her that I was more than happy to do so, I felt that fixing her door would be a great Christmas present to her.  After a few days we swung by her house again and I brought a nice new lock set.  I proceeded to dismantle her lock and inspect the damage.  There wasn't much wrong with it and it was a quick fix.  After 30 minutes of tinkering with the door (because I had to adjust the openings on the door MacGyver style), she had a brand new lock and a door handle that actually worked.  Unfortunately we had to run to another appointment, but before we left she informed me that her door had been in that condition for months now, and nobody had offered to fix it until I came along. 
Fixing a door is a small thing for me, I've done it plenty of times.  But that skill that I had gained previously came in handy on my mission.  Never would I have thought that I would fix a door and a lock set on my mission.  But this small gesture seemed to help this wonderfully sweet woman in this Christmas Season. 
Although it was a small gesture a talk by Neil A. Maxwell in the 1998 October General Conference brought to light how these small acts of service are sometimes all that is needed of us, and are able to bring greater blessings in the future.

"We may not be able to fix the whole world, but we can strive to fix what may be amiss in our own families."
Immediately after this quote Neil A. Maxwell shows his great taste in literature by citing J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Return of the King:
"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule"
This woman isn't a member of my earthly family, but we are all God's Children.  And as both Elder Maxwell and Tolkien expressed the importance of fixing what we can, where we are.  We can't always fix everything, but we can do our best to fix what we can because doing our best is always an option.  I'm not able to fix all of this lady's problems, nor will I ever be able to.  But I was able to fix what I could with the time I had.  

This Christmas, and probably for the first time in my life, I had that serving attitude throughout the entire season.  I was filled with joy and love for this lady as I finished fixing her door and left with a smile on my face.  And I've been filled with joy by telling people that, in regards to our sins and sorrows, the Savior is always standing by telling us "I can fix that". 
Let us all do what we can, where we are, to serve those around us.  And for those things that we can't fix, help them turn to the Savior.
I love you all, take care and have a happy New Year. 
--Elder Gailey

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Card Fun

My first attempt to make and mail Christmas cards from Utica New York mission!

Not bad for a youngster!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Life of a Tree - Merry Christmas

Hello Everyone, I hope you had a great week.  I know I did, but my week's happenings aren't the purpose of this post.  This week I'd like to talk about the life of a tree for a while.  

I was inspired this week in my Book of Mormon studies to bring up the oft told story in Alma 32 of likening our faith unto a seed.  I've read this passage many times, but something within me says I need to share my insights and feelings on this great parable.  I've taken time to split the life of a tree into 5 parts.  As you read, look inward and see where you land in the life of a tree.  

Part 1: A Seed is Planted 

Lets ponder on what seeds do.  By themselves they do nothing.  Given no water, soil, or sunshine a seed will not grow but will lay dormant.  These seeds will lay dormant until given soil to lay in.  Alma tells us that our hearts are the soil for faith, like true soil is for a seed.  Once you plant the seed, then miraculous changes can happen.  But these miracles of faith won't happen by themselves, just as a seed won't grow to it's full potential just by being placed in dirt and left alone.  

Our faith, like a seed, must be nurtured diligently.  A seed requires regular water and good soil to begin to grow.  Faith requires spiritual nourishment.  By reading from the scriptures and praying to our father in heaven we give the seed of faith what it needs to grow.  

The key to growth in a seed and in faith is diligence.  Watering a seed once when you first plant it will not ensure it's success, just as reading in the scriptures once will not set you for salvation.  It takes daily nourishment for a seed to grow.  And if your faith is like a dormant seed, those consistent acts of spiritual nourishment will serve as the foundation for the great things that are to come.  Take care with this seed of faith, a seed that has not sprouted is vulnerable and has no root, you must actively strengthen it.  

Having planted a seed once I know that they are notorious for growing at their own pace, and no amount of sternly staring at a bit of dirt will make that seed grow any faster.  A seed will take it's time to grow and become strong.  Do not be disheartened if your faith hasn't grown or if you don't see the blessings yet.  As with planting a seed, the blessings come later, after diligent work has been put in.  

Part 2: The Seed Sprouts

As you nourish your faith like you would nourish a seed, you will come to notice that "the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow." (Alma 32:30)

If a seed is good it will begin to grow.  A sprouted seed has finally surfaced and has taken a little root. But this doesn't mean that your job of caring for the seed is over, a sprout, like a seed, is still vulnerable and great care must be taken.

"But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away".(Alma 32:38)

Do not neglect your faith.  When your faith grows, you will notice the comfort and peace that come from Christ and his teachings.  But now that you can see the seed growing, you know the seed is good.  With that assurance that the seed is good, you can now move forward in faith and have your sprouting faith grow in strength.  

Part 3: A Sapling Comes Forth

Sweet, now your seed has turned into a little sapling.  The sapling has taken greater root and grown in strength, and now isn't as vulnerable to strong winds, summer heat, or clumsy hikers that run into it.  

If your faith is like a sapling, you have seen some of the benefits that come from this gospel, you know that this is good, but you have not yet come to see all the blessings that come from living in line with Christ's teachings.

Just as in the previous parts of a seeds life, that constant nourishment is what is going to result in a full grown tree or an unshakable faith in Christ.  Now you can see that this tree has great potential.  When it was a seed or a sprout it didn't appear to have any characteristics of strength or power, but now as a sapling you can look forward to greater blessings if continued care is taken.  

"But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root;and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life." (Alma 32:41)

Part 4: A Tree Takes Root

And now the moment you've been waiting and working so diligently for.  Your sapling of faith has grown under your care and nourishment and now it is time to harvest the fruits of your work.  A full tree is steadfast and unshakable.  It has that complex, strong, and fortified root system to bear the weight of the world.  Your tree of faith has reached maturity, and now it is ready to bring forth the fruit of your tree.  And when "ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which ismost precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet".  Now that you have been diligent in your faith and consistent in nourishing what started out as a simple seed, you can now see the true potential of the tree you planted long ago.  

Alma promises us at the end of the chapter that "ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you."  All of the blessings of Heavenly Father and Christ are available to those who diligently act in faith.  

Part 5: Tree Care

Now this is the end of Alma's teaching and the beginning of my advice.  

Your tree is now fully grown, but your work is not done, not by a long shot.  No farmer I have ever met has harvested once from a vine or a tree and then stopped caring for it.  The tree has so much more to give than just one harvest.  Likewise the blessings of a solid faith in Christ aren't noticed or given at one time.  

We must all constantly care for our tree, whether it is fully grown or a seedling.  Take care to prune your faith of any doubts, prideful habits, or stumbling blocks.  What kills a grown tree won't be a  bump from an animal or a gust of wind, but a more subtle disease.  Take care to look inward regularly and check yourself to see if you are honestly in line with all of the Saviors teachings.  If you aren't, do not be discouraged, this is the point of repentance and the Atonement.  I exhort you to rid yourself of all ungodliness, even if it is a only slight problem.  Careful pruning and maintenance of faith will guarantee many harvests in this life and in the eternities.  

There is another bit of advice I would give to anyone who believes themselves to have a solid tree of faith.  Spread the gospel.  Just as a tree grows to maturity and spreads it's seeds around, so must we spread this gospel.  Spread the gospel by planting those seeds of faith, no matter how small, and by nourishing others as they grow.  A tree does not grow old so it can be strong by itself.  A tree grows old so that it can create a forest around it.  

In summation: 

To those of you with a seed of faith: Nurture it consistently and carefully, you will see it grow as you do.  The blessings and knowledge will come.  Maybe not today, or next week, but I promise you with every fiber of my being that they will come.  

To those of you with a mighty tree of faith and a sure foundation: Continue nurturing and pruning your faith, and do not fear to spread the seeds of the gospel.  None of us are perfect, and we all can use extra faith and joy in our lives.  This message was to be shared to the whole world.   

I understand this blog post isn't easily related to Christmas, unless your tree of faith is a pine tree.  But it's my goal to strengthen someone through my weekly posts, and having been prompted the whole week on this subject there must be someone out there who needs it.  I pray that it finds you.  

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Love, Elder Gailey

Monday, December 15, 2014

Good Tidings of Great Joy

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, bring you good tidings of great joywhich shall be to all people." (Luke 2:10)

This Christmas season I want to bring to light a section of the Nativity story that has stood out to me this year.  While reading the Nativity story this week as I was getting into the Christmas spirit I found that verse 10 meant more to me this year than in previous years. 

When previously reading this verse in the Nativity I would read the first few lines of the angel's message, but I would subconsciously leave out the part that says that Christ's birth would "be to all people."  I understood that the birth of Christ was a monumental event in the history of the world, and that it was a time to rejoice.  But I didn't understand the scale of Christ's blessings upon mankind.

Since I grew up in the Church, I always knew that Christ was there for me, and that repentance was always an option.  I didn't understand that those "good tidings of great joy" that our Savior brought into our lives weren't known by all people. 

Being a missionary effectively means I teach people all day.  To teach all people that I come in contact with how they can grow closer to their Savior and have everlasting happiness.  The more I teach and watch people grow and change as they work towards becoming more Christ-like, the more I understand the monumental scale of Christ's life and work.  With each person I meet and teach, I grow to understand how Christ can influence their lives and bring about a great change in them. 

My challenge to you this Christmas season is to help spread these good tidings in other people's lives through acts of Christ-like love.  Have a goal to show one act of kindness and love each day until the New Year rolls around.  Many opportunities to show our love and care for those around us pass us by because we aren't looking for them.  Look for those opportunities, and take advantage of them when they appear.

It's my promise to you that as you develop greater Christ-like love through service, you will come to understand the many tender mercies of God.  You will feel more love from our Father in Heaven, and will become an instrument in his hands to change people's lives.  

Merry Christmas Everybody, I miss you all. 
-Elder Gailey

Monday, December 8, 2014

Whistle why you WORK

So to all my family and friends,I want to share a quote that is well loved by everybody in the New York Utica Mission, and probably by missionaries all around the world.  In the NYU Mission we repeat this quote as a group at every training or meeting where President Wirthlin will be teaching us.  The quote can be found in Preach My Gospel Chapter 6 under the section called Diligence.  

“I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.”
–President Ezra Taft Benson

This quote by President Benson is truly inspired because every part of it is true, and I've seen the blessings from it in my own short time in Fonda.  My trainer, Elder Ayre, has taken this quote to heart and makes sure that we work all day.  But not just grunt work that is incredibly boring.  We work hard, we work smart, and we work consistently.  By working in those manners you can achieve miracles in anything you set your mind to.

There are two parts in that quote that I love, the first being that if you work "there will be no homesickness, [and] no worrying about families".  It's hard leaving your family behind on your mission, I'm not going to sugar-coat it.  Saying goodbye for the last time was rough.  But I have started to lose myself in this work, and because of that I don't feel homesick.  I love my family with all my heart, and I miss them more than they know, but it does not distract me because I have work to be doing.  I do not worry about my families well-being or health because I know they are being taken care of while I'm away.  The people that I need to worry about and care for are out here in upstate New York.

The second part I love is at the very end, and is that "there is no satisfactory substitute" for work.  If you want to learn to shred on guitar, rebuild old cars, or get a promotion, you have to work.  It doesn't matter how gifted you are in an area of your life, you only become great through working.  The same is true, as President Benson said, "especially in missionary work" and also in spiritual things.  If you do not work to grow your testimony or faith in Christ, you will not progress in this life. 
Remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.

14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made themother five talents.

17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.

The Lord has given each of us talents, some more than others.  The servants who were given five and two talents took what they were given, and then worked.  They showed their gratefulness by increasing their worth and potential.  But the servant who had one did not work, and hid the gift he was given.

It is my hope that this week you will look at your talents, physical and spiritual, and see if you have put in the work to show your appreciation for Him who has given them to you.
Have a wonderful week everybody.

Love, Elder Gailey

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ice Cream, Friends and The Holy Spirit

I'm a little behind the ball, I planned to do a Thanksgiving post last week but as you might know that didn't happen.  Things were too out of control and too busy.  So now is the time to be thankful for relaxed Preparation Days.  

I'm going to write a short story on something I am grateful for this week in particular; the Holy Ghost 

This story actually comes from yesterday, so I'm a little glad I missed writing this post last week.  Elder Ayre and I were about to try some potentials in Fonda last night.  It was about 7:00 and was dark -- it gets dark at 4:30 PM here for whatever reason -- and it was a little chilly.  We were walking up to a potential investigator's house and while we were walking we saw that they had company over.  We kept walking past their house, not sure of what to do.  We stopped on a street corner and talked for a while wondering what we should do.  This was our last potential for the night, and we had nowhere else to go.  It had been a long day, and we were tired and cold.  We reasoned that maybe we should go back home and study or prepare for the next day.  We stood out in the cold for a while longer when I decided to pray.  It was a short prayer, and all I asked for was the knowledge to know what to do so we can bless this families life.  After I said my prayer we stood a while more in the cold.  All of a sudden I felt that we should go knock on the door.  The thought never wanted to leave my mind.  I informed my companion that we should do that, and he agreed.  We knocked on their door and were graciously welcomed in and told to warm up a little bit.  We were given cake and ice cream as it was one of the little daughters birthdays and were introduced as the families 'Mormon Friends'.  After talking for a while and checking up on the family we left feeling that we had made the best choice possible.  We didn't baptize them or give them a life-changing experience, but we did give them something very important.  We gave them two friends.  And sometimes that's all people need at that time.  The Holy Ghost blessed me with assurance to know what to do when we were struggling with a choice, and I am grateful for the lesson that I learned last night.  In my journal I wrote to my future self saying 

"Future Elder Gailey, you should follow the Holy Ghost's guidance for two reasons: 

1. By doing so you bring yourself and potentially others closer to Jesus Christ
2. There might be free ice cream inside that door"

Now obviously the first reason is the most important, but let's be honest, cake and ice cream are awesome.  But this simple lesson gave me great assurance that following the Holy Ghost will further missionary work more than human knowledge and willpower ever can.  It is my hope that each of you will learn to recognize and heed the Holy Ghost's promptings, they will not only bless you, but have the ability to bless those around you in ways you could not even imagine.  

The prophet Nephi gave this council concerning the Holy Ghost in 2 Nephi 32:5.

"For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the 
Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do."

For those of us who have been blessed to have the gift of the Holy Ghost, we are also entitled to the blessings of guidance and knowledge based upon our faith and worthiness.  It's my promise to each person that as you stay worthy of this great gift, and you will never be lead astray.  

I love you all and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Talk to you next week!

Love, Elder Gailey

Monday, November 24, 2014

Busy, Can't Stop, Too much to DO!


My short bit of advice is to read 1st Nephi Chapter 16.  Pay attention to what Nephi does when an unpredictable event happens in his life.  I'd like to draw your attention to how Nephi, rather than murmuring about his loss, went to work, doing all he could to try and solve his problems.  After doing all he could, he turned to the Lord.  Upon receiving his answer he acted upon it and did as the Lord commanded.  That pattern of doing all we can, then asking the Lord with real intent, is present in many stories in the Book of Mormon.

Anyways, I really am out of time, this week has been crazy hectic.  But I love all of you and hope you have a great week.  I'll be sure to make a better post next week.

Home Sweet Home

Happy Thanksgiving 

I am grateful for many things, My Savior, My Family...but right now at the end of the day I am most grateful for a place to call home and a bed to sleep in!!
Now I lay me down to SLEEP....

Love, Elder Gailey

PS. My bed is the smaller ONE!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rain, Sleet, or Snow - Out One Month

Aaaaand it's snowing in Fonda, New York. 

Don't get me wrong, I love the snow.  It's pretty, it's fluffy, and it means that the two biggest meals of the year are just around the corner.  But let me be perfectly clear and rather bold for just a moment in saying that snow kinda sucks.  The mission is still great and I can bear with the cold, but now there's all this cold white stuff on the ground that just takes all the fun out of things.  Gone are the days that I can sit down on a park bench after knocking on doors for an hour.  And I knew that when I left for the MTC that my mission would be a proverbial 'trial by fire' for me to see what I'm made of physically and spiritually.  But the term 'trial by fire' almost sounds welcoming when I'm faced with walking in the snow all day.  

Fonda is pretty small...hence the stupidest stoplight in the world.   

Oh and I received my Thanksgiving package...The hand warmers are going to come in might handy - thanks MOM!

But on to the spiritual side of things.  In all of my lessons there are two things that are always brought up without fail.  And I find them to be the two things that bring about the most change in ourselves if they are done consistently in our lives. 
Number One: Jesus Christ.  Not a lesson goes by that we don't look to our Savior for an example.  He is the perfect example of how we should live and act.  As much as I dislike common sayings, the question 'What would Jesus do?' can really change the decisions we make.  If we try to think like Christ, then we will love, act, and serve like Christ.  And though that is a goal we can't obtain, it shouldn't stop us from trying. 
Number Two: Find things out for yourself.  Elder Ayre and I tell everyone we teach to study out the principles we've taught and pray to Heavenly Father for guidance.  We could drag them by the hand to the baptismal font if we wanted to.  But how would that benefit the people we teach?  The people we teach need to know for themselves that what we teach is true, Elder Ayre and I already know the truth of what we teach, and we received our knowledge by studying the scriptures and prayer.  So why should our investigators, or anyone else, find out differently? 

There's a scripture that I read this morning in my personal study in 3rd Nephi that combines these two things perfectly.  The scripture is in 3rd Nephi 17:2-3 which reads:
 2. perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.
 3. Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrowand come unto you again.
Jesus Christ himself councils that we should ponder the messages from his life.  What more of a reason should we need to do so? 
I know that through consistent study and prayer we can gain knowledge and wisdom.  Out here in the mission field I study in the scriptures for at least an hour each day, and it has blessed me with greater clarity of thought and understanding of life and our purpose here.  

I challenge everyone else to do so as well.  

Have a great week!  
--Elder Gailey

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tango - India - Richie - Echo - Delta (Tired)


John learned to love sleep in many different places!
This week I think I'm going to talk about something near and dear to my heart: sleep.  I love sleep, it's great.  It used to be the favorite part of my day, and now much of it has been taken away from me.  I don't have time to nap or hit the snooze button on my alarm.  I get up at 6:30 in the morning and I go until 10:30 at night.

But I always seem to have just enough energy throughout the day.  A promise has been fulfilled to me from Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

18. And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to thecommandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

19. And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;

20. And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.

So far in my month on a mission I have found wisdom and great treasures of knowledge in my studies, and now I am beginning to understand the promise of not being weary.  I have had the necessary strength throughout the day and I'm normally not aware of my tiredness until the job is finished and my day is done.  I find that when 10:30 rolls around each night I'm suddenly overcome by lethargy that wasn't there before.
To those that read this, there is power that comes from obedience.  But there is power unto miracles with strict obedience.  If you have known me, then you know for a fact that I am not the person that can work from 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM with a smile on my face.  But through the incredible blessings of strength I've been the recipient of, I know that the promises in the above scriptures hold true.  And if they hold true for me, they will assuredly hold true for you.

It's a miracle to me that I can keep on this missionary schedule.  It may be a mini-miracle to some, but to me it is a miracle unto moving a mountain.  I may love sleep a lot, but this work requires sacrifice.  Thankfully the Lord makes up the rest.

Now I lay me down to sleep...zzzzzzzz

Elder Gailey

Monday, November 3, 2014

Arrival in New York!

Hello Internet,  I'm now in Fonda, New York.  It's cold, send sweaters and cocoa please.  

Okay, it's not that bad, and it's not snowing yet, but it's probably going to do that this week.  I've been assigned to an area North-East of Albany called Fonda.  It covers three towns and a lot of farms, normally owned by the Amish.  The towns I cover are Fonda, Canojoharie (Canjo), and Fort Plain.  They're small towns, but the people are nice and the scenery is beautiful.  I wish I could have been here a few weeks ago, I'm just catching the tail-end of the leaves changing colors, so now most things are brown. 
President and Sister Wirthlin With Elder Ayre and Elder Gailey
My companion in Fonda is Elder Ayre.  He's a fun guy and super hard working, we're busy from the time we leave home until it's time for us to go back home and sleep.  Sleep isn't my favorite part of the day anymore, but it's still up there.  I don't know how I have all the energy to make it through the day, the Lord provides I suppose.  Anyways, Elder Ayre is from South Jordan Utah, and is basically Elder Superman in looks and work ethic.  Maybe not as big as Clark Kent, but you get the picture. 
Elder Ayre and I have a little companion in our car called Tiwi (Tee-whee).  He's a cute little black box with lights and his name written on him.  He greets us every morning by telling us we're going too fast and that we need to watch our speed.  He's rather monotone, and interrupts our conversations, but we're grateful to have him along for the ride; he is just looking after us of course.  Tiwi is our --sometimes-- silent companion that makes sure we drive safely.  It's best not to anger Tiwi, as I've come to find out.  

Goodbye for now Internet, I'll have more for you next week!

Feel free to write me a letter I accept any and all notes, cards, letters or packages!!

Elder John Gailey
PO Box 149
Whitesboro, New York   13492-0149

Or Email     john.gailey@myldsmail.net  

Monday, October 27, 2014

MTC Brothers

I wasn't in the MTC but 13 short days - but these are my MTC Brothers!!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week One is DONE

First off, I'm alive.  Glad we got that out of the way, I'm sure not hearing from me for a week was a little odd for some people.  But on to the main portion of my update.  I'm loving the MTC, It's a great place to be.  I'm not going to lie, the first 3 days might have been the most boring, tedious, and somehow mentally tedious days I've ever experienced.  From what I've heard from other missionaries, this is an extremely common thing.  After you get over the shock of being here, and the shock of having to teach strangers, it gets fun; really fun.  Let me describe a normal day.
I wake up at 6:00 AM, because the required time of 6:30 AM wasn't bad enough for me.  I get suited up and ready for the day, then we go to breakfast.  The meals here are good, I can understand how some missionaries gain 10+ pounds here, there's a doughnut, cake, or cookie with every meal.  Fortunately for me, I have enough self control to avoid those, most of the time.  Right after breakfast we're in class with Sister Crawford, a lovely teacher, albeit strict about being on time.  By the time we're in class it's 7:30 AM, and we're in there until 11:30 AM.  Yes, that's right, 4 hours of solid class time and studying. 
Then we go to lunch for a bit before we go back to class, from 12:15 PM to 3:15PM.  Yay...3 more hours of studying.  After that class we have --wait for it-- MORE STUDYING.  Another hour of personal study when the teachers leave, although how much studying gets done is up for debate.  So it's almost 4:30 PM and we have dinner, which is usually really good.  After dinner we have studying.  Is anyone noticing a pattern here?  We study in our classrooms from 5:15 PM to around 8:15 PM.  Let's count up the hours really quickly.  Four hours int he morning, 4 in the early afternoon, and 3 more in the evening.  That's 11 hours that we're in our classroom (18M 437 represent).  That's more time in class than I get sleep.  After all that studying, we've started to go a little stir crazy, so we normally have gym time where we can lift weights, run, or play sports.  That's usually the best part of the day, because we get to completely unwind for about an hour.  Gym time is over at 9:15 PM, and we're normally back in our residence halls at 9:30 PM.  We have about an hour to iron clothes, write in journals, read letters, and do whatever we need to do in our residence halls.  Then it's lights out at 10:30 PM.  The cycle begins the next day with an annoying series of beeps from an alarm clock, and the cycle begins again.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  

Being here has been a mixture of awesome and exhausting.  But I'm extremely glad to be here.  I know my Mom is posting this to a blog, and I would like to share a short message with whoever will read this, whether you are a member of the LDS church or not.  It's meant a lot to me since I've entered the MTC, and I've turned to it many times in lessons and general study.  This passage comes from the introduction to the Book of Mormon, and I've used it almost every time I teach a new person.  

"We invite all me everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if this book is true.  Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost"

My purpose as a missionary is to invite all to grow closer to Christ, whether they are a member or non-member.  I still have my sense of humor and sarcasm, and I'm the same person you all remember, but I've grown closer to Heavenly Father by following the above invitation.  I would love to hear from anyone that would send me an email.  

--Elder Gailey

Sunday, October 19, 2014

First Email Home - MTC

First Email Home...

Can't wait until I get a longer email on Tuesday.  If you want to write him in the next few weeks - it is easier to use the DearElder.com and use his information at the end of the email.  They print out the emails and deliver them the same day if it sent before noon!

I assume from the email that he made it to the MTC and is doing great - well almost great!

If you want to see what happens in the MTC check this website out....

Hey Mom and Dad, 

I'm alive, don't worry.  My district got permission to write a short letter home.  Feel free to tell everybody that all is going well.  I don't have a long time, we have to be back in the residence halls pretty soon.  But studying is going well, and the classes are great.  My district is full of great missionaries, and all but 2 of us are going to Utica, so I'm sure I'm meeting future companions.  Feel free to use DearElder.com to write a letter to me, I can only check my emails once a week.  I couldn't even read the one Dad sent me, which bums me out.  I hope all is going well with the family, and hope Kellan is back to full health, I worried about the little guy.  I'm the district leader here, so that's fun.  I'm having a good time, but I seem to be swinging from feasting on the scriptures and loving it here, to severely doubting my ability to cope with the missionary lifestyle.  But I'm trucking along and I hope to read your emails this Tuesday.  And Mom, thanks for the typed out letter, I really enjoyed reading it.  

Elder John Blain Gailey
2009 N 900 E Unit 171
Provo UT 84602

I love you so much, please pray for me.  

Elder Gailey

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Setting Apart

The before & after of being  a missionary...
As a missionary you have received your call from the prophet but you need to be set apart for that calling.  For John this happened today.

According to LDS.org Setting Apart is defined as:
"To be selected and consecrated for holy purposes. This appointment is to a specific service within the Church organization by the laying on of hands by someone who has the proper authority. " 

John currently lives in the boundaries of the Federal Way stake of the church of Jesus Christ of LDS and their fore the one who has the proper authority is President Randal Nichols.  John and a few family members were invited to attend his setting apart as a missionary. 

As so as the setting apart takes place John was known as Elder Gailey and asked to live as a missionary.  He leaves for the Mission Training Center (MTC) in the wee hours of the morning.  Here are some of the rules that missionaries are asked to keep.  They apply to both young men and young women.

As an ambassador of the Lord, you are to wear professional, conservative clothing that is consistent with your sacred calling and that will clearly identify you as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Your appearance is often the first message others receive, and it should support what you say. Always strive to present a professional, dignified, clean, and well-groomed appearance. 

This is why you see missionaries in shirts, slacks and ties even on hot,cold, rainy or snowy days.

Missionares are asked to stay obey the laws of chastity, not to listen to music - except for spiritual kinds and only at certain times of the day, the study the scriptures daily, pray, serve those in need - many missionaries are called upon in times of disaster to help.  They meet with people, talk about the Lord Jesus Christ and share their message.  They get up at 6:30 am and are in bed 10:30, Sunday through Saturday.  They use email once a week to communicate with family and avoid movies and TV.  Their full-time job is to share the gospel and they sacrifice "worldly pursuits" for spiritual growth and for their love of the Lord.

Missions are hard, exhausting and very structured and yet by serving for two years they have grown into hard working productive men.  They have learned what it takes to lose themselves in the service of the Lord.  

Matthew 28:19    
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"

This is exactly what John will be doing for two years.  God Bless

What ever your religious background is our what ever you believe you have to give these young LDS men and women credit for giving up two years of their lives for two years to serve someone other then themselves.