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