Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...!

So first off, here is what we are doing...

Later this week, we are leaving to drive to the mission home. We will stay the night there (or in a nearby missionary apt) and all 200+ missionaries will be at the mission home for a "Christmas Conference" (aka Christmas party). :) Sis E says it's pretty much the best. The Elders will be having an ugly tie exchange and the Sisters were supposed to have an ugly accessory exchange, but due to the common complaint that "we don't have anything ugly," it has been changed to a scarf exchange! :) hahaha! Good thing I have like 17 of those!


Then we proselyte on Christmas Eve until 6 and after that are going over to the B's house, so that will be fun. Christmas day we have district meeting. Then we're going over to the H's at 2 for dinner and stuff. (That's the same family we ate Thanksgiving with). Sister E is going to Skype first and I'll Skype after! Yayyy!!! :D The first presidency has asked us to keep it 40 minutes or less. :) So excited. 

This week's been pretty crazy. Yesterday at church was interesting... We taught Gospel Principals. Here are a few things that happened:

-(during the prayer) " we don't have to stay in hell for all eternity..." (Brother M: enough said!)

 Here are a few other "quotable" from previous Sundays:

Speaker in sacrament meeting: "Is Mormonism a cult?"

Brother W: "Yes sir!!"

A comment in Gospel Principals: "Back when I was married to a devil worshiper..."

Last night, we also went out and tried to find some less actives. One house we were at had big huge scary dogs that I thought were going to devour me. They didn't, but they still were scary. We walked around the house trying to find the front door (super sketchy, in all honesty) and only found a back door that we knocked at. No one answered. An hour later, we realized our phone was missing. After retracing our steps and saying a lot of prayers, we found ourselves back at the dark, scary dog house in the country. Pretty quickly, this huge truck pulled up and this man was there and started questioning us because he pretty much thought we were trying to rob the house. We tried to explain the situation and he didn't really trust us, but let us look for the phone. So yeah... interesting and pretty embarrassing night!!!

(Ash never said what happened to the phone but just sent this picture.)

We also had interviews on Friday and training by the AP's. Elder H (a previous zone leader) and Elder T gave a really amazing training. They talked about obedience and discussed our responsibility as missionaries and the principal of accountability. We did some pretty fun role plays too. Meetings and role-playing are like my favorite thing. And role playing in meetings... the best!! ha ha! It's fun though, and I have been working very hard the past few days to be exactly obedient. I've learned (and am learning still) that there are no short cuts to missionary work. You have to be obedient all the time and follow the process set up by leaders. In my interview, President W said that the sole purpose of the 12 apostles and prophet is to build up the Kingdom of God on earth. So, when they ask us to do something, whether it's the mission schedule, For the Strength of Youth standards, food storage or whatever it may be, even if it's small, we need to follow that. Everything that they ask us to do, including those things, are to build up the Kingdom of God on earth.


Llamas, pigs & dogs

Well, this week has been an interesting one. We spent a lot of time out in Williamsburg and Barbourville, which proved to be quite the adventure... Here are a few highlights:
So, there are way too many houses here that don't have house numbers. Or mailboxes. Or even phone numbers that don't work! We were out in Barbourville trying to find one and we ended up at this tiny turn off that led to the only houses in sight. We bravely passed the "No trespassing sign" (a standard here) and walked up the long steep drive way to the friendlier-looking house. As we were about to leave, the inevitable happened. A large, barking, scary dog ran out around the corner of the house. I thought I was going to die. I think it's only a matter of time before I get bit and/or shot at for tracting out in the country. Thankfully, the dog decided not to kill us so that was nice. But really, everyone here has a scary dog and a gun by the door. And a "No trespassing sign" of course. Although ironically once you start talking to most people, they act like they've known you their whole life and are super nice and helpful!
We've been teaching J, but it's been a little rough because he hasn't been rooted in The Book of Mormon. .....or the standard works. He's been obsessively reading the Apocrypha which has completely changed the spirit that he has about him. :/ But we will pray and work hard to help him! And L, his wife!
Christmas should be pretty good. We are having a Christmas  Party Conference at the mission home so that'll be neat! It's on the 23rd I think and we'll stay the night in Louisville the day before. Then we have a district meeting on Christmas (no idea why, but whatevs!) We also put up our little Christmas tree in our study room...the one I found with Sister J. :)
This week we also decided to go visit the RS president. She gave us directions to her house and told us that we'd know we were at the right place when we saw the black llama. Sure enough, we drove a mile or two out on a gravel road and saw the black llama. Apparently they're really territorial and keep coyotes away. And when they spit, it smells really me. We got some names of people to go visit and spent about 5 minutes chasing her dog around the holler, trying to catch it. It was a funny day!
Later, we went to visit a less-active and asked how she'd been. She told us that she had helped her neighbor clean a pig at midnight last night. Of course, Sister Egbert and I pictured a pink, happy Wilbur splashing around in bubbles.... which is not what she meant. Apparently, he had hit a pig with his car, so naturally, he called his neighbor, and they cleaned it out and split it. She also told us about her experiences deer hunting and I learned more than I ever wanted to know about gutting a deer. So, needless to say, we have a dinner appointment Tuesday night. Poor Bambi!!
Ashlyn's imagination of how a pig gets clean!
This week I also have been thinking a lot about The Book of Mormon. It is SO important to stay rooted in it. Like it says in the first few pages, it really is the most correct book we have. I've found so much comfort in reading it since I've been out here. It brings such a special spirit. It truly testifies of Christ. In my experience so far, if people will start reading it, they really can't say anything bad about it. Of course there are rumors, but it testifies of Christ and has a special spirit about it because of it's truthfulness and divinity that even the most antagonistic of people really can't condemn it.
I know with my whole heart that Jesus Christ called Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, and that he translated The Book of Mormon. I absolutely know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith was called to restore Christ's gospel in it's entirety with his power and authority. There is no doubt in my mind about that fact. It is truth and someday everyone will know that. I am so grateful that for some reason I have been blessed to have the fulness of Christ's gospel in my life. It is an invaluable gift. I know that because I was baptized, I have the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide me, comfort me, and help me discern truth. I can't imagine my life without these blessings.
Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Transfers & Thanksgiving

Tuesday we drove up to Louisville for transfers and I got a new companion! Her name is Sister E and she is from  Nevada. She's been out almost a year and has a lot of strengths that I don't. I'm looking forward to everything I will learn from her. Getting a new companion has been a little strange, but life is full of changes. It was sad to see Sister J go. She helped me a lot and was a good friend to me
Me & Sister E.

Thanksgiving was great, although we ended up eating three -yes three- Thanksgiving dinners! It was quite the challenge, but I really can't complain about being fed :) For the first dinner, we went with C. and his family to Hillbilly's restaurant. Then we had dinner with the H family, which was a lot of fun. Even though I wasn't with my own family, it was nice to be in that family atmosphere. We had a really fun time and it was super delicious. Then a less-active called and told us that she was going to be eating alone and invited us over, so we had our third dinner with her!

This week we also taught J. He is a little bummed because he is almost done with The Book of Mormon! We promised that we would give him the Doctrine and Covenants soon, so he is very excited to have that. We also talked to him about baptism this week and he came to church which was really exciting. He has been somewhat of an "Alma the younger" type of person. He described meeting us the first time and said "I had the devil in my heart, but I saw Jesus in their eyes". K also came to church and we fasted with her to help her live the Word of Wisdom.

This week I have also gained a testimony of Christ's individual love for us. We were driving home one night and saw a woman on the corner. Sister E and I both had the impression that we needed to talk to her, so we parked the car and walked towards her. (Being a missionary is kind of like being a professional's fun!!) She started walking away, but we felt strongly that we needed to talk to her, so we followed. I realized that she looked like someone I had met once in town. I called out that name and she turned around. Come to find out, it was her. Long story short, she was at a point where she desperately needed to be rescued by Jesus Christ. We shared a prayer with her and a scripture, but she still chose to walk away. It was heartbreaking to see, but I know that Heavenly Father has such a deep, individual love for each of his children and is far more involved in our lives than we tend to think.

Gahh.. "Catching Fire" sounds like such a great movie. When I get home we'll have to have another movie marathon, like we did with LOTR!
A snowy day with my new companion who is great at talking to people!
Today we're just doing usual p-day stuff. Plus we're going to the church so I can practice "Angels We Have Heard on High."  I have to play it for when the RS sings the Sunday before Christmas---surprise! :p I miss piano and wish I had more time to practice. I really enjoyed that this summer. It was nice to have long days to be able to learn so many new hymns. I play for RS on Sundays. Sometimes I have to just sightread the top hand, though.

I am so grateful that I have the Gospel in my life, with all of the specific blessings that it brings to me. There is so much pain, confusion and heartbreak that is avoided by simple obedience to Heavenly Father. As Latter-Day Saints, we have a lot more rules and seeming "restrictions" compared to others, but these things truly make us more free and make us happier when we abide by them.  
Have a great week!
Sister Galloway

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Week

Hello to my family & friends!
This week has been a good one as usual! We had stake conference Sunday, which was really uplifting. President W spoke of how we need to "cast our nets on the other side" when it  comes to missionary work. Because we have been told by a Prophet of God to do so, we know that we will be successful, even if earlier attempts to get a friend interested in the church weren't. He had all the converts in the stake raise their hand, and at least half of the congregation raised their hands. He then told them to keep raising their hands if they would have thought, a month before meeting the missionaries, that they were good canidates for becoming a Mormon. Almost every hand dropped. It was such a testimony to me how important it is to share the Gospel with everyone, whether or not we judge them as "good" candidates.
We also taught K. this week, who has a baptismal date for December 21st. We taught the Word of Wisdom to her and it went pretty well! We also taught two new investigators and saw J. a few times as well. He is still reading and loving The Book of Mormon. Sometimes I wish I could record what he says about it because he really thinks about it, and it is more than just words on a page. I love how much he gets into it. He brought up a concern this week about organized religion and it being man made instead of from God. We read 3 Nephi 27 with him and gave him a pamphlet on "The Gospel of Jesus Christ" and invited him to look for the pattern of faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end in his scripture study. One thing that I really like about J., is that he loves figuring things out himself through his studying and reading. And he really likes pamphlets. I don't know what we're going to do when we finally run out of new ones to give him! haha. 
Fall color!
Yes, we have Thanksgiving plans, two dinners in fact! :) We are eating with the H Family on Thursday and are eating with K and D on Wednesday. They are having Thanksgiving a day early because they are both divorced and don't have thier kids on Thursday
Happy, happy Ashlyn---she got mail from the Robison boys!

  We also had an investigator tell us some similarly personal things this week. It was an incredible experience for me to be able to bear my testimony of the Atonement and of it's power to heal despite the fact that I haven't faced the tiniest part of what she has had to. There are wounds that run so deep that nothing but the Atonement can heal them. I remember a teacher at the MTC telling us that anything less than using the atonement, was like putting a band aid on a severed arm. Because the Atonement truly and completely heals, it enables us to do the difficult things that we have to do in life. 
 Anyway, this week has been pretty good! I still am pretty anxious to get to talk to you all at Christmas because it's a little sad to not be home this time of year. But it will be ok.
 Sister J. (Jacques as we call her!) is getting transfered! We don't know where to, but we'll find out Tuesday at Transfer Meeting. We're both betting on Indiana. She has been a great companion and I will miss her.
Ashlyn & Sister J   
Oh, and I finally put the sewing machine to use this week! I sewed a skirt. I'm wearing it in the picture of out district I sent you. yaaaayayayaya!.  I helped Sis J sew one. It looks way good!
The Foothills District  (Ash sporting her new skirt.)
Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
-Sister Galloway

Thursday, November 21, 2013

busY, Busy, bUsy!

This week has been pretty great! Tuesday we had Zone Conference which was super uplifting. The stake president spoke and reiterated the importance of teaching the Atonement. He said that every other part of the gospel is less important. President W. taught us from Alma 5, about how to reach out to less actives. 

This looks like more fun than service!
The rest of the week was full of lessons. We taught J a lot this week. It's so amazing to see what a change has come over him since we met him the first time. He is better able to recognize the spirit, and it has really softened him. It's kind of hard to teach him because he has so many different thoughts running though his head, so we have been giving him the pamphlets and then discussing them with him later. He is very excited to learn all there is to know. 
A big bonfire with the H family
We also taught the wife of a member this week, and set a baptismal date with her! She is SO ready for baptism, and her husband is very excited. So, as long as she can keep the WOW she will be baptized the 21st of December! :) We also taught M., and challenged him to pray about baptism! I really had to rely on the Spirit during that lesson, because I was so tired! But the Lord really made up for my shortcomings and low-functioning mental state and taught M. what he needed. We also taught D and N. We ended up discussing the sabbath and why it was changed. We didn't feel like we were totally able to resolve D's concern, but I guess we did better than we had thought, because out of the blue he showed up to church on Sunday!  

Making s'mores with the Elders after we did service.
This past Friday, we also went and taught a religion class at a college in W-burg. It was pretty small, but it was a great experience! Dr. B. pretty much grilled us, but it was great to see him and the students all really thinking about it and asking questions. As we were going to leave, he told me "Well, I hope you have a great life and marry a Melchizedek Priesthood holder!" hahaha. I think he was proud of how much he knew about Mormons! And he definitely knew a lot.
So just for fun, here is what my morning schedule is like: 
6:20--1st alarm goes off
6:30--2nd alarm goes off. (We usually tell each other our dreams as we roll out of bed. Today, Sister J said, "I dreamed we were confined in a room together." ha ha! Imagine that!)
Then we have companion prayer, personal prayer, make beds & exercise. 

After that, we get ready for the day.
8:00--personal study   & companion study after that. 
Then we leave for the day. And each day is different--even after having weekly & daily planning. 
Ash's dad prayed for Sister Galloway & Jacques one night---which is not my companion's  name--- so we lovingly call her Sister Jacques now! :)
 Sometimes I get sad when I let my personal weaknesses get in the way. This weekend, I accidentally left the phone in the library and it closes at 2 on Saturday so we spent the whole weekend without a phone, which is bad because there are people who need to get a hold of us, plans we have to confirm, etc. Also this Sunday, right when we got to the church, I realized that I had forgotten my name tag.  So we had to drive all the way back home and back to the church.


Last night it was raining and it was fun to hear the rain on the roof. (That was the from the tornadoes that went through the mid-west last weekend.)
Thank you all for your prayers, letters and emails! I love hearing from everyone and can feel the strength that comes from The Lord.
Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Monday, November 11, 2013


This week has been full of absolute blessings for me!! The spirit has truly been there to lead and guide us as we've worked hard at recognizing promptings, and expressing gratitude for them. One example is on Wednesday we decided to stop by and try to see some promising investigators who we hadn't been able to see in a while. Every time we had set an appointment  they canceled or weren't home. When we walked up, we noticed that their car wasn't there but felt like we needed to knock anyway. J answered the door, and he was so surprised to see us! Standing next to him, was a friend that he was giving a Book of Mormon to! (His wife had rather miraculously ran into an extra copy while out of town) Apparently they had just spent about an hour discussing it when we knocked! Justin was really excited to see us, we had only met him once and had promised that if he read it, his life would be blessed. He told us that he decided to read it so that he could prove us wrong next time we ran into him, but that he LOVES it now! He's in Alma, and got so excited while talking about it that he even used a little profanity :P He has a lot of questions and we are very excited to teach him this next week!

Another lesson we taught this week was on Sunday. We felt like we should stop by the house of a potential investigator. Thankfully, she was home. (Some people here are not so great with set appointments if you can't tell haha) She is a 16 year old {and a member of another church}, but has an older brother who converted to the church. We taught her and her mom, who are very sincere, deep thought and upbeat. They also had A LOT of questions! Thankfully the spirit was there to help us, because if we had just tried to answer them, we wouldn't have really accomplish our purpose. Instead, we just listened and testified of The Book of Mormon and of the Atonement when the spirit prompted us to. They both committed to reading and want to come to church/youth activities! I am so grateful for the impact that The Book of Mormon has had on my life and that I can, with my whole heart, testify that The Book of Mormon is true and will change one's life.

This week has been fantastic. And, on a side note, I've become so addicted to the word "fantastic" because Elder W. always always says it and it has rubbed off on me! So Sister J (my companion) will say "it sure is, Elder W!" when I say it. 

I feel so remarkably blessed. There is so much potential here in Corbin. I feel not quite up to all of it! There are so many people here that are willing to read the B.O.M. or at least hear us out. The people here value their personal relationship with Christ so much. The field truly is "white, already to harvest" Sometimes I feel bad because if I were better at discerning or more loving or spiritual or hard working or diligent  that I could accomplish so much more. I guess that I will have to keep on working and trying to improve so that I can do His will. I really want to convert someone though, and not just "baptize" because it would break my heart if I baptized someone if they fell away. The ward also really really needs kingdom builders, not just baptisms.

{And this line was from Sister J's email: "We are part of a great work!"}

This week we also did a lot of service which was SO fun! We helped a member clear some fallen trees, and then we helped the son of an older investigator cut down and clear out another tree. Don't worry mom..I didn't use a chainsaw. :)

There are so many other miracles that happened this week that I wish I had time to write about: Inviting D and N to pray about baptism, teaching in unity, finding new investigators, members teaching with us and giving us referrals, and so many other things! I am so grateful for all the love and support that I have from everyone around me and especially from the Lord.  I miss you all sooo much! And I think of everyone often. I hope you all have a fantastic week!!
Sister A. Galloway

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Another week in Paradise

For some reason, I feel like I have learned a lot this past week! Ever since I've gotten to Corbin, I feel like It's (spiritually) been a crescendo. More and more, I am finding myself able to recognize spiritual promptings that I never would have before. I've always associated the spirit with emotion, since it's described as a "feeling" but I have learned that often, The Lord really does work through small and very logical means to accomplish his purposes.

Tuesday, we taught two of our progressing investigators, D and N, who are farmers and trappers. There are about 100 chickens running around everywhere! We talked about The Book of Mormon, and read through the introduction together. They have been pretty consistent with reading, and hopefully we can get them to church next week! Most of our other investigators this week have really taken a downhill turn and haven't kept commitments or appointments very well. So teaching those two was certainly a breath of fresh air.

Wednesday the ward had a fall festival, and Thursday we went in early due to Halloween and watched The Testaments (great movie!). Friday night we drove about 40 minutes to meet the Sister Training Leaders to do an exchange. I was supposed to drive back down to Corbin with Sister R, but due to a series of unfortunate events, Sister R and I just drove there as well and did a blitz instead. It was a neat experience because their area is very different than Corbin; a lot more affluent. And everyone there is Methodist instead of Baptist!
This week we also got in touch with a Professor at a community college, who wants us and the London Elders to give a presentation in his religion class! So that's super exciting, and I'm looking forward to that!

ENDERS GAME IS OUT??? AH AH AH AHHHH. Phew. Ok. I can do this.
So, despite the fact that I am missing an incredibly epic movie and holding kittens and newborns, I truly love being a missionary and wouldn't give it up for any of that. And thanks for your emails, besides making me smile, it was humbling to remember that your family, dad, were Baptists once... whoops! :) It's funny because a lot of things here remind me of the Galloway's. Firstly I was surprised to realize that words like "Papaw" and "britches" were words other southerners used too! But it's similar in other ways as well.

It honestly felt kind of off to leave my area on Saturday to Blitz in Jessamine County. I feel really responsible for the people here, and it makes me sad because I feel like I am not doing as much or as well as I should. But we have been talking a lot about hope, and it's importance, so I am staying positive and trusting in God to help me make the most of my time here, even if it's not "measurable." I love life and I love the Lord.

I decorated the missionary board at church this week. We didn't have very many craft supplies or time and I used mainly brown paper bags but I still think it turned out nice. If I have time I"ll include some pictures! So, unfortunately I don't have a ton of time this week so it may be a short email! But I am happy that everyone decided to send me emails this week!

 Ward Missionary bulletin board

I hope that everyone has a great week!
-Sister Galloway

Saturday, November 2, 2013

One Big, Happy Blur

It's strange to think that another week has past already! This week I heard missions described as "one big, happy blur" and I think that's pretty accurate. Sunday nights I'm often surprised to realize that the next day is already P-day! But it's nice.

 This week we had some great experiences and picked up two new investigators. Their names are D and N. They are a father and son who live next to each other, and have a farm with chickens everywhere!! They are also trappers, and have a horse that can count by moving it's hoof, nod, shake it's head, and bow. So, it basically talks :P But they are great and have been pretty consistent about reading so far. After our lesson, D said that he'd never heard it explained that way and that "I reckon N and I are a lot like Joseph." It was a good lesson, and it was great to have some members there-our lessons go SO much better and are a lot more powerful when we have members there to bear their testimony and to relate to, especially converts, which is at least half of the ward here.

The Narnia Bathroom

There's an extra walk in closet in our bedroom, and another walk in closet door that my bed was pushed up against, and one day at dinner, I got super curious as to what was in it. So, I moved my bed and opened it. And it was better than Narnia...or at least more surprising. We found a bathroom!!!  Here is a picture of (some) of the random objects we found.

-two birthday princess hats (too bad we didn't have those for Sister J's 6 month celebration!)

-A Menorah tissue box
-A football
-A Christmas Tree

Our finds!!

One thing that I love about serving a mission, is how many opportunities I get to bear my testimony. Those times are definitely when I feel the Spirit the strongest.

This week I think I also heard the phrase "I'm a Baptist" for the millionth time :P I feel like half my conversations go like this:
"Would you be interested in learning more about Christ?"
"I'm a Baptist".
"Hi, we are missionaries fro--"
"I'm a Baptist".
"Hello Sir. How are you today?"
"I'm a Baptist".
But, it is a good thing that people have such strong faith and dedication. Even if it's hard for me as a missionary to hear all the time! But that's OK.

So over on the other street, there is this super adorable kitty that always follows us whenever we walk by. It's happened several times & it will walk with us for a few blocks before it'll get distracted by chasing a leaf or scared by a barking dog. It is the cutest thing I've ever seen and I've tried to convince Sister J. that us taking it home would increase our productiveness, make me super happy to get up the mornings and more spiritual. I pet it even though I am HIGHLY allergic to cats. If we could adopt it, I would let it sleep on the extra bed in our house. Our upstairs neighbors just had their 1st baby & he is a cutie as well. Darn Satan, trying to use kittens and newborns to get me to break mission rules!! ha ha! 

Beautiful Kentucky

This ward is so fantastic because of all the different, unique, beautiful and colorful backgrounds that the members have. One of our members says, "I'm always in church unless I'm in jail." Literally. If he's not at church, you KNOW some thing's wrong. (He spent 6 months in jail for some false charges that just got cleared, finally!) We have families in all the ranges of more well-to-do to those who struggle a lot. Ultimately, it all comes down to the fact that Christ's Atonement and Gospel gives everyone the chance to heal and to change. It makes me realize how much we know that we take for granted. A testimony should never, ever be left alone, taken for granted or devalued. It needs to be shared, even if it's simple because that' when it's most powerful.  

Have a wonderful week & Happy Halloween!
Sister A. Galloway 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Corbin...The Promised Land!


Every week I find it really difficult to sit down and try and write a brief email describing what all happened that week. There are so many different moments, exchanges, and people that we meet. It leaves a remarkable, variety of feelings and emotions that is hard to summarize -or even remember! This week was no exception. Tuesday was really amazing. We met with A, and taught her lesson three (The Gospel). She has a LOT of difficulties going on in her life right now, but really wants to change her life. She really has the gift of faith. That night, we talked to her about baptism and she accepted a baptismal invitation! She has a few trials that she needs to overcome, but I know that she can.

Our district goal is to have 20 contacts a day. The other night at 8 pm, we still needed 9 more contacts to reach our goal. It was dark and fairly empty in town. So, (thanks to dad's mission stories!!) I had the idea to go contact in a laundromat. That got us the last few we needed for the day! YAY!!! 

Wednesday was a little rougher. We got dropped by a young  family that we were really hopeful about. I guess everything is in the Lord's perfect timing.

Friday we drove up to Lexington for a Zone Conference and were taught about The Book of Mormon and what a powerful tool it truly is.

Guess what?? I discovered some fun things in our house this week including a working sewing machine, a full-size crock pot and 2 Aloe Vera plants. (I am so excited to get a sunburn now!!). Some Elders in our District found a mouse in their apartment.  I felt so blessed to find these treasures!!

Sunday night, we went tracting and met this really friendly woman who was out feeding stray cats! Before we'd barely gotten a "hello" out, she invited us in, and started telling us her life's story. She told us how she had lived all over the world when she had job with the government, lost her only child and grandchild in tragic accidents, broken her neck and spent years recovering as a quadriplegic and had a miraculous recovery. I almost couldn't believe this woman except she had a huge scar on her neck and she was showing us all sorts of pictures. Finally, with no idea what to do next, she had simply gotten on the freeway until she felt prompted to get off at an exit and stop, which is how she ended up here in Corbin!She says she was very surprised after living in the deep south and also all over the world because there is NO place like Corbin... and I believe it! ha ha!! She told us straight up that we didn't need to worry about her soul, she KNEW her Savior. And she surely did. I felt the Spirit very strongly, so I think we will stop by again sometime and try and read some of The Book of Mormon with her. She said she wasn't going to join any church and just wanted to be non-denominational. She works with homeless women and said her faith has kept her grounded through out her life.

Ahhhh...that's where the TREE OF LIFE is!!

This week we also have done a fair bit of service and raked several yards! It is beautiful here with all the colorful leaves, especially when we drive out to Williamsburg, which is more in the country. We have also had a lot of member-present lessons and they all have gone really well! The nights that we were unable to get a member with us ended up going pretty poorly and a lot of plans fell through, so I definitely have had an increased testimony of working with members!

Each week is an adventure with its ups and downs. One moment will be incredibly happy or funny, and the next will be discouraging or really sad.We got "The Trumpet" this week, which is Sis W's (mission president's wife)  newsletter for the GKLM missionaries. In it it had parting words of advice from missionaries. One of them said something along the lines of "no amount of success you have on your mission will be entirely yours, but neither will any amount of rejection." It's become so important for me to use The Atonement, and to deepen my personal relationship with Christ. I know that He truly walks beside each of us during our trials and hardships and also during our successes. 

Sister J celebrated her 6 month mark. We had a chocolate chip cookie cake and I made her blow out a candle for it!  

Happy 6 months to Sister J!

 You asked what new Southern words I now use. I say "blessed" a lot. Or "bless my soul!" I hear a lot of words that my North Carolina family uses, like britches, papaw, and mamaw.  

You also asked what my favorite part of the day is and I have to say "lunch!" Duh. ha ha! Other than that, dinner especially when we have a member meal. Or another favorite part is getting the mail or anytime there is a spiritual 'peak' in the day. Oh, and definitely BEDTIME. I have gained a healthy respect for it! (Note: That comment on bedtime was a joyful moment for me. I sighed so loud, you probably heard it!! See, we used to joke about Ashlyn being nocturnal.)
I hope that you all have a wonderful week...
-Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Monday, October 14, 2013

How we communicate..

So when a mom has a question for her missionary daughter that needs an immediate answer and you can't talk or text and email is one time a week, here is how the communication goes:

[Note: One of the "rules" Ash told me before she left for her mission was to check with P (little sister) who has to "OK" the style before I buy her any clothes. She trusts P's taste/style in clothes.] 

Hey Ash. I found this skirt and wondered if you like it. 

It's tan in case you can't tell on the email. I asked P. if she liked it and she replied, "I would if I was a Duggar."

No such thing as Stranger Danger--We talk to everyone!!

This week one thing that our district has been really focusing on is contacts. So Sister J. and I contacted so much this week, which was really good for me. Contacting isn't necessarily my favorite thing!  But it helped me out a lot. (Note: Sister J's email reported that between 4 companionships in their district, they contacted a total of 579 people throughout the week. Each of them are in very small towns, so it was truly a miracle.)
We also ran into a lot of old potential investigators. And had some interesting conversations of course! One that I remember off the top of my head is a (slightly drunk) man who wouldn't let us pray with his family until we told him where unicorns were in the Bible. We also talked to [another religion's] minister who was also a religion teacher. He was very learned and had actually read The Book of Mormon before! But he hadn't (nor was he willing to) take Moroni's challenge and ask if it was true. It's always interesting because here in Corbin, we talk to so many different types of people and a lot of people who are very learned. It makes me so grateful to have the Spirit because without the Spirit and my testimony, I wouldn't be able to do hardly anything as a missionary. I know that the church is true. The Spirit touches the hearts of people and lives can be changed and burdens lifted in a way no earthly hand can lift.

Another picture of my district.
  Our district is the same for next transfer, except Elder H is leaving to be a District Leader in Illinois. Oh, and before you ask yes that's a new shirt. I  like it! Our investigator, J (who, REALLY reminds me of Sister Robison, one of my favorite advisors in YW) was donating a lot of clothes to Goodwill, so I got that one and a lacy gray one. :)

We also saw a few miracles this week! We got a random call from a man we had met for a few minutes at our investigator's A's house. We had given him a Book of Mormon, and had not seen or heard from him in 2 weeks and had honestly not really thought much about him. He said that he wanted us to bring his wife a copy, since he was out of town. We also learned that he was in Alma!! And he talked about how "plain and precious" it was.

Also while out contacting, we talked to 2 high school girls and when we mentioned the church, one of them said "Latter-day Saints? I love that place! All my best childhood memories are there!" I guess her family had gone some when she was young, and her mom is actually a less active. There are a lot of less actives in the ward. Out of 500 members, only about 100 attend regularly.

This week the Sister Training Leaders came and blitzed with us, so I spend the day with Sister W, who actually served her first 6 months in Corbin. It was a really neat day and I learned a lot from her!

The keys also got locked in the trunk this week... so we had to call the locksmith, who apparently had met with missionaries in the past and said we could stop by anytime! Maybe Heavenly Father is just trying to put certain people in our path? ha ha!!

Sister J is with me for another transfer -yay!! I hope I'm in Corbin a long time like she has been! And as Brother P (ward mission leader) so lovingly put it the other night, "it's too hard to break in new missionaries here." I really appreciate Bro. P. He told Sis J and I that he'd just adopt us as his daughters since we reminded him of them so much and because of all the times we've had to call him for help. ha ha!

But I love being a missionary and I know that no matter what our life is like, the Gospel path is the only path that there is in life that leads anywhere worthwhile. It's not always easy to do what Heavenly Father expects of us, but it's the path that we are asked to follow. It leads to lasting happiness. I am so incredibly grateful that I have a testimony and the opportunity to share it with others! 

-Sister Galloway

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's conference time!

This week has had it's ups and downs. One thing that's been interesting to see, is how the Spirit speaks differently to everyone. For example, last Monday night we taught M, who is very intellectual, and comes at things at a very "step by step" method. Most of our lesson involved resolving concerns about the Book of Mormon. It was an interesting lesson because it was very "logical" and not as spiritual as some lessons, but it was spiritually guided and by the end of it, he said that he knew the Holy Ghost had told him that he needed to actually read the words and test the promises, not just look into the historical aspect. 
Ashlyn's District & the Assistants.
We also have a new investigator, J, who is very energetic. At an early point in the lesson, Sis J and I just looked at each other and threw our structured lesson outline out the window and just taught 100% based on the spirit. It turned out a lot better than anything we could have planned for her! All of our investigators are soooo different, but I love each one of them, and have gained a greater testimony of how well Heavenly Father knows each one of us.
Horses & beautiful green grass & trees near Corbin--a visual treat for all of us desert dwellers!
This week we also have done a lot of "member work". It seems like a lot of investigators, converts, and other ward members were hit really hard with trials this week, so we spent a lot of time trying to help them out. 
Some of the trials that I have seen people go through here, are things that I have never ever experienced, but the message that I am here to share is so universal and true that it can help and heal in ways nothing else can. I know that obeying the commandments and living the Gospel is the only path that we can depend on in life.

 We went to the Saturday sessions of General Conference at the church, and Sunday morning at Sister W's house (yw's pres, 4 foster kids) And the afternoon session at Sister H's  :) She also made us some yummy chili and cornbread, and some fresh squeezed carrot/mango/other fruit juice that dad would have loooooovvveeeddd. I feel like I have kind of a special connection with her and Sister M becuase they both have a kid out on a mission, so they are very nice and supportive of us! They have really been a blessing to me so far during my mission. 
This week we also talked to W. a lot. She is a recent convert baptized in August. She is a single mom who is 30 and is super amazing, but doesn't see it at all. She is going through some pretty rough times so could really use some prayers right now. Conference was really good for her.  There were a few times she looked over at us in shock at what the speaker was saying, because it was sooo direct for her!! The spirit is just the best. :D Love it. 
I have a new recipe for y'all to try. Maybe P. (little sister) would like it. It's grilled cheese, but you put spaghetti sauce on before the cheese, and some peperoni after the cheese. Like pizza pockets!
Also a bit healthier than nutella-marshmallow sandwiches :) Ha!

And yes, Sis J and I were dying over the fly in the Sunday afternoon session. Did you see the little guy in the choir yawn on Saturday?? Super funny. 

Favorites of the week:
  • Scripture: D&C 50:40-42:
 40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.

 41 Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;

 42 And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.

  • Line: (While teaching J) "I love Mormons! They're like hippie Baptists!" 
  • Conference quote: "Gratitude makes us rich in contentment or poor in discontentment" -Elder Bednar
Yikes! He has his arm around her. :)

Sister Galloway