Monday, September 30, 2013

Fasting, Miracles & the Temple

This week in Corbin has been full of miracles! We picked up some new investigators this week whom I absolutely adore. One in particular is A, and we are trying to teach her boyfriend too. She is incredibly humble, faithful, and loves having us come because of the comfort and strength that the Spirit brings. While we were teaching her, all of a sudden an investigator, whom we had lost contact with, showed up at her door! I guess she is A's Aunt, and we were able to talk to her and get back in contact.  

That's spaghetti squash  in case you were wondering. There's a reason I don't usually buy vegetables, mom! :)

This Sunday the ward fasted for missionary work, and especially that we'll be able to have more Priesthood in the ward because it is desperately needed! That afternoon, Sister J and I picked up 3 new male investigators that are in the perfect age rage! It was such a blessing. Another miracle was that we wanted to give A. a Book of Mormon, but had run completely out!! (worst missionaries ever -I know!) But as we were getting out of our car to go visit her, I said a quick prayer, and had the impression to double check under one of the seats. I did, and there was a Book of Mormon :) 

Sister Galloway & Sister J


 The Restoration is one thing that I have gained a big testimony of. It's such a powerful lesson and so true. I think it's easy to take our testimonies for granted just a little or even treat it casually, but when you have someone straight up tell you that Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet or some other falsehood, it really just offends my spirit. Then we bear our testimonies and usually I feel the truthfulness of it even more strongly in my heart.

We also had the opportunity to go to the Louisville temple on Thursday!!! It's only been a month since I've been, but it was such a relief and comfort to be able to go. Our whole session was our zone, so it was awesome being there with all missionaries! And much needed :) We also had interviews this week by President and Sister W. They are so fantastic and I just love them! 

Six Sister Missionaries in the Lexington Zone at the Louisville, Kentucky temple. A member sent this picture to us & they flashed the "I Love You" symbol when she told them it was going to their families! :)

Other exciting things that happened this week include:

-Giving a Preacher a card with David A. Bednar videos to look up on it. He was much, much nicer than the other one we talked to last week!

-Getting locked out of our house. 

-Contacting people at a marching band invitational (It brought back a lot of good memories for me!)

-Getting stung by a bee for the first time ever. 

-New Nutella recipe: Nutella sandwich with melted marshmallows--yummy!!! We were given a bunch of marshmallows from one of our investigators!  

 The GPS got us a little lost trying to find the Highway.... But on another note, the top of this hill had a tiny little fenced- off cemetery and some turkey hens. Also a large enough space to turn around and find the right road :)

By the way, Kentucky roads make no sense. There are lots of twisty, tiny roads and lots of trees! Also, the local aren't the best at giving directions. The other day someone told us to "look for the hidden driveway" as a landmark.  But Kentucky is so very beautiful, even when we are lost!
Sometimes at the end of the day, our District Leader, Elder T. will call just to see how our day went and if I'm talking to him, I always have trouble remembering what happened that day because so much and so many different things happen each day. It really is true what Bilbo Baggins says, "Stepping out of your front door is an awfully risky business, you never know where your feet (or the Spirit in our case!) might take you." 

Well, I hope that everyone is doing well, and has a blessed week!
-Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Monday, September 23, 2013

Favorites: Sept. 22nd Edition

This week in Corbin has flown by just like the last two. I can hardly believe that this transfer is already half way over. Sister J. and I are both worried that she'll be going to a different area... I'm not ready to be left alone! But we'll see. Life is an adventure everyday!
On that note, here are a few "favorites" of the week:

Favorite tender mercy: 
We had set a goal to get 20 contacts on Saturday, but had spent all morning out in Williamsburg (much smaller and spread out than Corbin) and hadn't had very much success, so we were a little worried. However, when we drove into town, there were people everywhere! Apparently there was a color run going on, so we were able to exceed our goal, which was for sure a blessing.

Favorite line:
Homelessman to Sister J: "You have such pretty teeth!" 
Sister J: "Thank you, I use toothpaste."

Favorite conversation: 
Talking with [another religion's] preacher. He had some very interesting (and frustrating) ideas about Mormons and about God, but it was such a powerful experience to be able to bear my testimony to him and tell him what I knew to be true. It definitely built my faith.

Favorite lesson: 
We picked up a new investigator this week, and introduced and read some of The Book of Mormon to her. It was a simple lesson, but we could tell that she felt the spirit very strongly as we read and even was crying at the end! There are certain people I've met who really just really crave anything spiritual, and have such a bright light of Christ about them. B. is definitely one of them!

Favorite meal:
Our ward mission leader took us to eat at Colonel Harland Sanders Cafe, the birthplace of KFC--right here in Corbin. So very kind of him!
Each day here seems so long that I can hardly even remember what all happened! It feels good to be a missionary. Sometimes I don't feel as successful as I want to or determined enough, or I wonder if I am making a big difference even. But when we follow the Spirit, we're able to go and do what I think Christ would do if he were here right now in Corbin!

 But I love it here and I love the people. They all are so colorful and beautiful and faithful in what they value and know to be true. Each one is so different, but I can truly say that I love them all. My testimony has been strengthened so much and I have learned a lot about Jesus Christ and the Atonement. It truly carries through everything in life!! I love you all and wish you the best this week!

Sister Galloway

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cops, Fruity Pebbles and the Shower Rod

Hello all!
      This week has been good. I am continuing to learn so so much!! One of the biggest things that I've learned this week is how involved Heavenly Father really is in our lives. As a missionary, it's so necessary to rely on the spirit.  It's really amazed me what miracles have occurred as a result of that! This week we had the impression to stop by and see on of our investigators who's been really busy lately. We knocked and she came to the door and basically yelled at us, saying that she was having an awful week and just wanted to lay down and sleep, but that this was the third time that hour she'd been woken up by someone knocking! I was ready to just apologize and walk away, but Sister J. kept on talking to her. She calmed down a little and agreed to sit down and read some scriptures with us. I'm really glad that we did, because the spirit was very strong and I know she was able to get some of the comfort and answers that she needed. We also got a referal from a member this week, and was able to meet with another woman who's having some very tough trials. It really amazes me the things that people have to go through sometimes, and breaks my heart to see. But it's definitely strengthened my testimony of the Gospel and the power it has to heal. 

 We also have been doing a lot of contacting, which gets kind of interesting sometimes!! People here are very into religion and really, really love Jesus. One woman we were contacting started talking about how sometimes when she's doing dishes, she'll just throw her hands up and praise the lord! 

It was a fun surprise to get this picture from the Primary President in their local ward.

 But this Sunday was really good. We literally pass 5 different christian churches on our 5 minute drive to the chapel. We also got pulled over on the way home! But it was all good because Sister J. started contacting the cop. I was trying really hard not to laugh (while searching desperately for the insurance), but we didn't get a ticket...possibly because the cop was a member of another religion that is very strong here and probably didn't want to hear anymore about our church. We couldn't really complain!

You asked about my night in the Mission home and frankly, it was a blur to me. I was so tired from traveling! My mission president's wife is very classy. I like her a lot. 

 I am so sad to hear about the tragic accident that happened to the families in the Goodyear Stake. I will pray for them.  I'm glad the scripture helped P. feel comfort about her friends. Sometimes I get sad when I'm away at college or here on the mission because I can't be there for her and H. like I need to be, but I'm glad that the spirit is there to lead and inspire us even if it's very subtly.

 On a happier note, I'm glad that you had a wonderful birthday, mom! I wish that I could've been there to eat some yummy carrot cake with you and help you out with the whole "too many sweets thing." Sister J has a lot of charity and gives away many of our sweets!! But on the plus side I don't need that much and I'm becoming better at "temperance" (new word I learned this week -moderation in all things!) I even shared my Fruity Pebbles this week. The mission really changes you. 

Our fridge quit working so we have milk in the freezer right now. It is hard to call and report it because  we are so busy and the office is closed during lunchtime. Frozen milk is almost worse than no milk. Then the shower rod fell on my head one morning. Good thing I am so hard-headed; Satan can't get this girl down. But I have Fruity Pebbles and the Spirit, so I am pretty much set for life! 

Guess What?? One of the members here just got a dog and it's a Shiz-Tzu/Maltese mix (just like our dog!) except it's about as big as my foot, all white and cute. His name is Bear. Can we get a puppy-version of our dog? I might just approve of that.

Well I hope that everyone is doing well and has a great week! 
Love, Sister A. Galloway

Monday, September 9, 2013

I am here!!

Nice missionary name tag! 

Well, I'm officially in Kentucky finally! It is so green and different from the west, but super pretty. We stayed the night at the mission home and had transfers the next day. I'm serving in Corbin, Ketucky which is just a few miles from the Tennessee border. It's a small town and definitely in the Bible Belt. It's different than what I'm used to. Everyone here is super nice and very religious. My trainer/companion's name is Sister J. from Utah. 

Mission president's wife,  Sister J, Sister Galloway & Mission President

     Most people I have met  have a church that they already attend and are pretty active in it. But everyone here has a lot of faith in Christ, which is really inspiring and they all have some remarkable story about when they gained a testimony of Him or when they've felt him in their life. Many times we'll ask to pray with people and they're usually more than willing to, even if they're not interested. Everyone is very much into revelations and the rapture. So we've had some tough questions. Life is very different here and already I have seen some sad situations.
      Last night we were out tracting and we decided to go back to an apartment that we'd skipped randomly. We asked the man who answered the door to pray with us and he readily agreed. As we talked with him, he said he'd studied a lot of different religions, and had always meant to order The Book of Mormon from the TV commercials. He was pretty surprised and very grateful when we offered him one. I wish everyone would have that reaction towards it because it is such a sacred book. He also had tears in his eyes and said that he had literally just finished praying when we knocked. He said that we had no idea what this meant to him. It was an incredible experience and I look forward to teaching him.  
      Sister J introduced a lot of the town people to me and I think she knows everyone! One day we were driving down the road and she was pointing out people. Our conversation was like this:
Sister J: "That's J. He doesn't like me."
Me: "Why's that?"
Sister J: "Well you see, I told him that Jesus said to love everyone. He wasn't such a fan of that."

Or one guy we talked to:
"What happened to your eye sir?"
"It got shot out twelve years ago."
You know that inner voice that narrates your thoughts? Sometimes it turns "Southern" in my head.  

The 25 new Kentucky Louisville missionaries that arrived from the MTC last week & their Mission President & wife.

     I've had a wonderful week in Corbin so far, though! It's very different from home. I've also learned a lot of new Southern words & grammar this week. I love all the people here and am learning so much about the Gospel and the Spirit.
--Sister Galloway

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Did you know...

879 missionaries

checked into 
the MTC

August 21, 2013

in addition to the 
missionaries being trained in the 

Provo, Utah  Missionary Training Center.    
(Source: Secretary to the President of the MTC via email response to Ashlyn's dad.)      

Monday, September 2, 2013

Calls from the Airports

We all slept terribly last night. All because we were waiting for the phone to ring! Yep, it is the day Ashlyn arrives in Louisville, Kentucky. We knew it would be an early morning phone call, so all the phones were put on the night stands--and made sure they were charged. 

This was probably the first time in her life that Ashlyn has used a payphone, I think.

She called from the Salt Lake Airport at 5 am this morning. She was happy and excited to go. She is traveling with all 24 missionaries going to Kentucky, 14 Sisters and 10 Elders. They were flying to Atlanta and then on to Louisville.  She said they also came from the MTC with a group of missionaries heading to South Carolina today. We asked her questions about the MTC and she said there were 2 teachers she really loved and had learned a lot from. She wanted to know what we were doing here at home. Jeremy told her about the new Hobbit movie trailer he saw. We also talked some logistical things. They had been instructed to keep the calls short, so we tried to talk fast!

Luckily, she said her suitcases were only 45 and 48 pounds each, falling within the weight guidelines for the airlines. She put some heavy items in her carry-on. Whew! 

At 10 am, we got another call from her at the Atlanta airport. This one was much shorter and much more emotional.  This was the last time we talked until Christmas Day.

Ashlyn sounded humble and confident on the phone. She is ready to go teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and yet surprised at how fast the time has gone since Aug. 21st when she checked into the MTC in Provo.

She will meet her mission president & his wife, The Woodbury's, this afternoon when she arrives in Louisville. We have heard wonderful things about them & other members in the area!