Caring and Sharing—Melissa Isabel Gallardo Truman of Springvale, Victoria, Australia


Eight-year-old Melissa brings a lot of happiness and sunshine into the lives of her family. She is a tenderhearted girl who loves her sister, Rebekah (11); her brother, Thomas (7); and her parents, very much. Whenever someone in the family gets hurt, Melissa is the first one to give comforting words and to offer a bandage or ice. In fact, caring and sharing are what Melissa is all about.

Enjoying family home evening

Each week Melissa looks at the family home evening chart to see what her assignment will be. When it’s her turn to give the lesson, she likes to use the Friend magazine. “If I use the Friend, I don’t need any help from my mom or dad,” Melissa explains. She often invites a friend to share family home evening with her family. One of her friends enjoyed coming so much that she asked her parents if they could have their own family night.

Sharing the gospel

Melissa knows that one of the best ways she can be a missionary is to set a good example. She tries to be kind and sensitive to other people’s feelings. At school she often reminds her peers not to use bad language. She also explains to her friends why she can’t attend birthday parties on Sunday. Whenever she eats at someone’s home, Melissa asks if she can say a blessing on the food. She is not shy about telling people about the gospel and inviting them to church. Both Melissa and Rebekah take the Friend or the Book of Mormon to school for free-reading time. They know that when someone asks them what they are reading, they can share the gospel with them.

Melissa’s favorite family activities

  1. 1.

    Holidays at the beach

  2. 2.

    Camping in a tent in a national forest

  3. 3.

    Swimming in a river in the bush

  4. 4.

    Riding bikes to the park and playing on the monkey bars

  5. 5.

    Running through the different obstacles on the commander course

  6. 6.

    Playing games with Rebekah and Thomas

  7. 7.

    Putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle

  8. 8.

    Challenging Thomas to a game of chess

Caring for home

The Truman children know how to work as well as play. Every Saturday morning everyone pitches in to clean the house. They take turns dusting, folding clothes, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, making beds, and ironing. Melissa thinks it’s fun to iron, but says, “I have to be very careful not to burn myself.” She also takes turns caring for their pets—Boris (bird), Sally (dog), and the sea monkeys (brine shrimp).

Many talents to share

Melissa is developing her talents in writing and art by participating in the Targeting Talent Program at school. She wrote a poem called “Merrymirl.” It was published in a book containing the best poems written by school children in Australia. Her favorite topic to write stories about is what heaven is like. She especially enjoys all kinds of arts and crafts—drawing pictures, painting with watercolors, creating touch-and-feel boxes, making latch-stitch rugs, and doing counted cross-stitch. Melissa excels in swimming and has won several awards in freestyle and backstroke. After taking piano lessons, she is teaching herself to play songs from the Children’s Songbook.

Caring and sharing with others

Whenever Melissa pays her tithing, she also likes to give money to the poor. Sharing her testimony with others is also an important priority in her life. She would like to share it with the Friend readers: “I know the Church is true. I know my Heavenly Father lives. I like to share the gospel with my friends by inviting them to family home evening and church. I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”

Map of Australia

Where in the world is Springvale, Victoria, Australia?

[photos] Photographs by Julie Wardell and Janet Thomas

[photo] Australia is known as the Land Down Under because it is in the Southern Hemisphere.

[photo] Melissa likes to make string art and likes to help make treats in the kitchen.