Saturday, August 31, 2013

PIctures & Final MTC News

So it's  Saturday, but since we leave around 3 am on Monday, we got to do laundry and email today. :D
This week has been crazy. I've continued to learn SO much!! It was really hard the first few days, but things have really started to "click."  Sister P. and I are doing much better with teaching. We've really started figuring out how to have the Spirit there so that it's the Holy Ghost that's teaching, and not us. I've learned that you can try and explain things well, but unless the spirit is there to teach the investigator, things just don't go super great. I've also gained a greater testimony of prayer! It's soooo important! Especially when you have to depend on having the Spirit with you 24/7.

Studying at (Raintree) MTC West
I'm really excited to leave for Louisville, Kentucky soon, but it seems weird that is SO close. It'll be awesome to start teaching real investigators though!

I'm a little worried about my suitcases being overweight, so I might try and send some stuff home. We'll see. Also, in the MTC bookstore I found a little notebook with that Sister Missionary painting on it (see picture below) that you guys got! So I got it and it makes me really happy. :)

The picture she is referring to by Annie Henrie.

 I will be suuuper sad to leave my companion Sister P once we get to Kentucky!!  We've gotten to be such great friends, and I feel like she's really been my rock. Love her! 

Sister Galloway & Sister P.
So Tuesday we had a Devotional on the main campus. Elder Neil A Anderson spoke, and he said "we love the things we sacrifice for, we sacrifice for the things we love" It was really neat and we sung a bunch of hymns at the end due to a thunderstorm, but it was super cool to sing all these missionary hymns with everyone in the MTC! There were also some Sisters behind us speaking some language, and we asked where the were from, and they said some thing that sounded like "took". Then they said "small island". It's pretty cool to think that the church is really world wide!! The thunderstorm stopped, and we were able to walk back to the west campus, but it was still raining super hard! It kind of reminded me of that rainy night on Trek (four years ago with Goodyear, AZ Stake)---just how weird and kind of surreal it was. But this was fun, even if I was totally blind from all the rain on my glasses! A lot of the missionaries started singing primary songs, and Sister P. didn't like that... it kind of reminded me of how Paige (my little sister) would've reacted.  hahahaha!! (Note: Ashlyn is always thoroughly entertained by Paige's reactions!)
I think Ash sent this picture just to make us happy that she is cleaning. No explanation was given.

Breakfast with my district

Last night, we watched "The Character of Christ" given by Elder Bednar. It is only shown at the MTC. He talked about how Christ always looked outside of himself. He said something like, "So you feel discouraged? You want to have the Spirit with you more? Who cares what you feel like. This (missionary work) isn't about YOU!" I have had so many eye-opening experiences and tender mercies from the Lord here. 

Two Sisters in my District having fun. The one on the left reminds me of Laurie (my cousin)!!

Blurry picture of her favorite companion!

But this week has been great. I feel like half the time I might burst into tears from the Spirit, frustration, laughter and/or discouragement. However, I love being a missionary and I love having Christ's name on my heart. 
I get to wear my contacts again on Monday. YAY!!! Anyway, I love you all!!! Talk to you soon :)
 ---Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Monday, August 26, 2013

News from MTC Provo West

     This week has been so crazy. I don't even know how to describe it!! The days are very long here, and the first few were especially!! I have learned so, so much though. And I think that I learned more in the first two days than I thought I would the entire time. There is SO much to learn and to study that sometimes it's a little discouraging because I am so far away from the point that I want to be at. I just have to remember to be patient with myself and The Lord, and to trust that I will learn, and gain the ability to teach how I need to. 
       My companion's name is Sister P. and I really love her! We mesh suuuper well and are pretty much always on the same page, which is so nice!! We are at the West MTC, so we're living in Raintree and we have a whole apartment to ourselves, which is great! I also am in a district of all Sisters. It's pretty cool, but sometimes we wish we had Elders too. But I love them all (the Sisters in my District), and we get along very well! A lot of the day is spent in class, either studying, role-playing, or being taught by our teachers.  We also have gym time, which is pretty much the best. Our district usually walks up to the field, and runs and stuff together, which is nice after sitting so much! Today we also got to go to the Provo temple. And do laundry yayyyy!
     I also have my flight plans. We leave next Monday (Labor Day 2013) very early. The food here is... OK. It's better some days than others, but it's not too bad. I also love my Branch President. I have learned so much from him, and every time he speaks I pretty much end up crying! Also, I've learned a lot through role play. We do that a TON here, either in companionships, with our teachers in class, or sometimes our teachers take on the role of fake investigators and we go "teach" them. This definitely has been one of the hardest parts. It's heartbreaking sometimes to care so much about something, to think about it and learn about it almost 24/7 and have people who don't see it as all that important, or who are only mildly interested. But I've learned that the center of our purpose as missionaries is to bring people to Christ. He truly is the center of our church, and His Atonement is incredibly powerful,  in not only forgiving us of sin, but changing our hearts and desires. It enables us to overcome weaknesses that we couldn't possibly hope to otherwise. It applies to every aspect of life! 

Me & my companion. I love her so much!

(Ashlyn is truly loving her first few days at the MTC. Every sentence in this 1st letter home ended in a ! or !!. I took the liberty to make them many of them statements and thus changed the punctuation to periods in instead of the exclamation points. ♥♥)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Arriving at the Missionary Traning Center

Wednesday, August 21st was a day that we had anticipated for months! (Note, this was also Jeremy & I's 21st Wedding Anniversary!) We had a normal morning and family prayer right before lunch. Ashlyn, Paige, Hailey & the Maryland Cousin all rode in Grandma's car. Jeremy & I rode together and it took us much longer due to road construction around the area. We met at the parking lot across the street from the MTC and was given an instruction sheet by a nice man in the parking lot about "making the dropoff smooth." Ashlyn was so very anxious to go. She kept asking if we could leave and she was extremely worried about being late. We had Grandma Hart, our Maryland cousin & our family in the car with us. (The more the merrier! We love our family.) The steady stream of cars going into the MTC was amazing! Ashlyn began to beam. She was literally glowing & her smile was incredibly bright.
A green light going into the MTC (8/21/13)

We made our way in and was met by sidewalks lined with many, many Elders and Sisters. What a cool sight to see this small part of God's Army. And then, oh so very humbling, to think that Sister Galloway was soon to join them. I was also impressed by the number of families there dropping off a missionary & knowing about the sacrifice, the time, money and love a missionary family has in order to get their missionary to this point, it was really special. We also all felt the Spirit very strongly.

Curbside drop off at the MTC. A very happy Ashlyn!

 A beautiful Sister Missionary met us as our car pulled up to the curb. (She had Chinese or Japanese on her name tag and we never asked where she was going, unfortunately.) She welcomed us to the MTC and as the bags were unloaded, she asked who each person in our car was & where Ashlyn was going to serve. She was so very kind & gentle & her spirit was a calming influence on all of our nervous stomachs. Ashlyn gave each us a big hug. Jeremy told Ash to give me (the teary mom) an extra hug. Ashlyn grabbed one of her 50+ lb. suitcases, the Sister missionary took the other 50+ lb. suitcase & they walked away, chatting the whole time. We watched Ashlyn for as long as we could, in the sea of missionaries. And she never looked back. 

The Journey Begins

Sister Galloway

Packing/Organizing  for the next 18 months!

Ashlyn was set apart as missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ on Friday, August 16th by President B. Choules, Bishop J. McCook and her dad at our home. It was a beautiful & peaceful evening. Ashlyn was counseled to do many things as well as blessed with many things. From that point on, she was to act like a missionary. She wore a skirt for the days following. We also had to make sure that a close family member was with her or close by at all times. That was hard to remember for us! At one point during our drive to UT, we were all going to take a restroom break. Ashlyn said she didn't want/need to and we all proceeded to leave, but then luckily, her dad remembered that we couldn't leave her alone!  Once we arrived in Orem at Ashlyn's Grandma's house, there were a lot of family members there and making sure she had a companion was not an issue anymore. We spent the next few days in Orem. We had a family reunion with the Hart side of the family on Saturday & Sunday. All of Ashlyn's cousins (except 2 of them) were there. One of the activities at the family reunion was to write notes to Sister Galloway and Sister Austin (a cousin serving in Jamaica). The notes were put in an envelope and given to Ashlyn to read once she got into the MTC.  Ashlyn also gave her farewell talk about "Standing in Holy Places" to the family that day. On Monday, we went to Temple Square and took the Church Office Building Tour and ate at the Lion House. On Tuesday, we drove to Manti with Aunt Janet and Uncle Steve and did a session in the beautiful Manti Temple--our last time with her in the temple. Paige and Hailey (her little sisters) did baptisms for the dead as well that day. Ashlyn had woken up with itchy, painful eyes on Tuesday morning. Being concerned, we quickly found an optometrist in Orem and made her an appointment. We raced back from Manti & took her in. She was diagnosed with an eye infection & told not to wear contacts for a week and was given 2 prescriptions of eye drops. We were very blessed to get this taken care of hours before she left! Ashlyn's last meal, was at J.Dawg's in Provo. And then she spent the rest of the night marking her new scriptures, finishing up some laundry, re-packing her suitcases and playing the card game "Golf" with family.
Saying Goodbye to Aunt Jae         

Working at the table with her Maryland cousin

Friday, August 16, 2013

See you in 18 :)

Well, tonight's the night!! I'm getting set apart at 8 and then I'll be spending a few days in Utah before I enter the MTC on Wednesday! I can hardly believe that this has come so quickly! But I am very excited and can't wait to get started :)

I would love to hear from everyone throughout my mission! I can check my email once a week, and my email is:

My Address starting September will be:

Sister Ashlyn Brooke Galloway
Kentucky Lousville Mission
1325 Eastern Parkway,
Louisville, KY, 40204

My Address for the next 12ish days (at the MTC) will be:

Sister Ashlyn Brooke Galloway
2023 N 900 E Unit 845
Provo, UT, 84602

Thanks for all the love and support! You all are seriously the best :)

Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Why Serve?

Well, here I am, 16 days before I leave for the Provo MTC, and 12 before I am set apart as a missionary! It's pretty surprising to me how fast time has flown, and I figured before I left, I should post on here about why I'm serving a mission! This is something that I've wanted to do since I was twelve. I remember that around this age was when I first prayed about it, and decided that this was something that I really, really wanted to do if I had the chance. Over the years, my desire has grown and I am so so grateful that the missionary age change has given me this opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father! I think a part of me has always known that this was his plan for me. I do not know everything, but I do know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me and my life. I love him, and I am so happy to be able to serve in Kentucky! When I opened my mission call, I was a little surprised at first -somehow Kentucky was one place that had never really crossed my mind! But I know that it is where he wants me to be. I know that the church is true!! I am looking forward so much to sharing with others what has brought immeasurable peace, happiness and comfort into my life, as described Here.
I hope to hear from everyone throughout my mission (I'll post an address and email a little later!) I'm so excited to serve a mission, to share what I know to be true, and bless others' lives in the way that Christ and his church have blessed mine!! 

(Soon to be) Sister Ashlyn Galloway :)