Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Missionary Apartments...

You know you are in a missionary apartment when....

There are maps on the wall that make us look like creepers!

There are pictures of the Prophet and 12 Apostles where the TV should be! 

The blinds are fixed with pass along cards! 

 There are many different pieces of mismatched plastic containers that  belong to ward members!

The Temple, Roadkill, & Cheesecake

Since this week was Memorial Day, our p-day got moved to Wednesday because a) the library here actually does observe national holidays, unlike the Corbin library!! haha!!  b.) WE GOT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE TODAY!! :) It was SO wonderful and so very needed. I think Heavenly Father knew I needed it too. Going to the temple is a nice soul-cleanser. You collect a lot of dust and dirt from everyday life and going to the temple just washes it away. I also remembered more than I thought I would so that was nice! I got a lot out of the session today. I wish I could go more.
Me and Sister B at the temple.
Our week was good. We also did a lot of finding, saw many miracles and tender mercies! During planning, we were talking about some members who we really wanted to get involved and other things we needed/wanted. So, we not only set a goal for the number of people we wanted to find, but the types of investigators we wanted to find. Such as, ones with cars, a teenager, and ones that we could bring specific members to. Heavenly Father TOTALLY answered our prayer! As we looked, not only for general people who were prepared for the gospel, but also specific types of investigators, Heavenly Father put them in our path. A few months ago I heard Elder Rasband speak and he said "The Holy Ghost likes lists" and I definitely know that's true!
We got this AWESOME referral from from this family with 5 young kids! We are also teaching a man from Liberia and another man from Pakistan/South America. So, hopefully this next week they and some of our other investigators will begin to progress!!
A baby robin that a member rescued. No, I did not touch it!!
Another blessing this week is that two of our current investigators, G and J, felt the Spirit! We have been trying SO HARD to get them both to church, but haven't been successful. Sometimes it's kind of frustrating to remember that this is the Lord's work and not mine and that it all moves in His perfect time. They both had (and recognized!) spiritual experiences this week though, so that was a big blessing.

This is my cousin Laurie's twin. Seriously, they look identical. Actually, her name is Hermana C.

I also am getting an up close and personal look at roadkill here in Kentucky. I NEVER knew how much roadkill there was.
Roadkill beaver. This picture doesn't do justice to the smell or all the flies!
A phrase that I"ve heard, that I've really come to appreciate on my mission, is "God is in the details of our lives". It is SO true. It's amazing that he is so aware of us and blesses us so much. Earlier this week, I was a little frustrated. So in my nightly prayers, I asked Heavenly Father for cheesecake---because, why not??! Well, sure enough a few days later we ate at a less active's house. Not only did she wants to go back to church, but, she gave us cheesecake!! So, I have a testimony that God hears our prayers, whether they're about large things like finding people to teach he Gospel to or silly little things like food. He hears us, and he cares so much about us as his children. :)
Have a great week. Do missionary work!!
I love you all,
Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Skypeing: Mother's Day 2014

It seemed like Mother's Day would never come, but like Ashlyn's whole mission so far, it just sneaked up on us & we were surprised at how fast the time has flown by since we last Skyped on Christmas! 

Hailey made signs for the backdrop of our skype call:

We carefully planned the day out so that the big event was skypeing. I, fortunately, got 3 different, but very short phone calls from Ashlyn, setting up the time that we would get online. One of those calls was during Sacrament Meeting! I hurried and ran out of the chapel to answer the call. I have learned that  502 is Kentucky's Area code. Anxiety, excitement and panic explode inside of me when it pops up on caller id!! 

Ashlyn said that 3:30 was the time. So at 3:30 we were ready. Here we are at 3:30---

Waiting for Ash to sign on...

Here we are 3:45, 4:00, 4:15 and finally at 4:30

Yep, still waiting. It was torture!! 45 minutes later....

Then we got a quick call from Kentucky again, telling us to look for a different account. And suddenly, this appeared!!

It was great!! Ashlyn was very happy and laughed a lot. 

She told us that learning about the Atonement and how it carries her through each moment of every day is one of the ways she has changed on her mission. We asked her who her favorite companion was and she seriously could not answer that. She just replied that she truly loved each one of her companions and was so grateful she could serve with each of them. 

One of the more memorable experiences of this skype call was when we told her we had tried the Bigelow Tea Bag object lesson she had shared with us and it didn't work!! In fact, Jeremy burned his hand 3 times trying to do it. (See explanation of it below) So, she couldn't understand why it didn't work for him. Being a little bit of a crazy family....we went and got an empty tea bag and lit it on fire. Unfortunately, the ceiling fan was on & it picked up the flaming tea bag and we ended up having to stomp out a burning tea bag. Poor little rug now has a scorch mark on it!! Ashlyn was dying with laughter at the situation!!! 

*Hailey did her robot dance for Ashlyn.
*Paige immediately blasted questions at Ashlyn regarding her "love life" that is on hold for 18 months. Wisely, Ashlyn did not answer any of Paige's questions!!! 
*Ashlyn said she has met some really great Christian people on her mission. This was really heartfelt and I could tell she feels very strongly the emotions she has for them. 
*She also said there is no good way to ride a bike in a skirt!!

I told Ash I wanted a picture with her. So here is the 1st picture we took together:

Typical picture for our family---someone HAS to be making a crazy face!! 

When we had to end the call, it was very hard. The emotions were raw and we told her we would not be the ones the click off. So, she said goodbye and clicked off on a happy note, at exactly 40 minutes (per mission rules!).

At Christmas, it was much harder to say goodbye because we all started crying. This time, Ashlyn did not cry. That brought me great comfort. (Although I still had to have my own little pity party afterwards.) 

 She did behave for a second so we could actually snap a picture!!

  Object Lesson on Faith: Take a Bigelow Tea bag & empty the tea out. Then stand it up like a tunnel on your palm. Light the top on fire. It "should" burn until it gets right to the bottom and then it is "supposed" to go flying away and the fire extinguishes on its own. Disclaimer: This is a 19 year old hs graduate encouraging this type of activity. Try it at your own risk!!! :)

A miracle, TWO baptisms and my thoughts on feeling the Spirit

Hello Friends & Family,

This week feels like it's been pretty jam packed. It seems to have just flown by!

​ So far on my mission, I've felt a lot of very potent emotions. And also the Spirit in different ways than I have before. Like, we always talk about the Spirit as a "feeling," but a lot of times, it's come to me as this sudden clarity. For instance, a gospel principal will instantly "click" or I'll KNOW suddenly where to go or what to teach someone. Also, I think sometimes the Spirit feels like the sunshine. You know when you are just sitting there and are basking in warm sunshine? Sometimes that's how the spirit has felt in lessons. But also, I've felt a wider depth and variety of feelings and emotions as a missionary. Sometimes being a missionary is hard. And it's a sad job. I'm glad that I'll never have to be a Bishop, Stake President, or an Apostle. You definitely feel joy and happiness very strongly, but in order to really appreciate and feel that happiness, you have to feel the opposite side of the spectrum.
Tuesday was the day C​ went to meet with his probation officer. We were pretty nervous about it because he had a few hundred dollar fine to pay in order to get off probation and be baptized. BUT, ​the Lord provided! He went in and there was no fine! ​H​eavenly Father just erased it all - we couldn't believe it!!
Wednesday we went on splits with the ward missionaries. We were stressing because we didn't have another appointment for me and Sister W to go to, but one of our newer investigators we'd only taught once was able to meet. It turned out to be quite the interesting lesson. Her husband, a Baptist seminary student, also joined in this time. It was not a good time to be companion-less! ​Regardless, ​it was really neat​.​ Even though it was probably one of the times I've felt the most humble and overwhelmed on my mission, I also felt the Holy Ghost guiding me and prompting me with scriptures and in bearing my testimony. I'm not sure if they got much from the lesson, but as I recited the first vision, I felt the spirit very strongly, and it strengthened my testimony of the reality of the restoration. After we walked out of sight of R and D's apartment, Sister W just gave me a big hug.  It was so insane. I'm a weak, unlearned 19 year old, who doesn't have much to offer, but I do know that I have been called by a living prophet to share truth and invite others to make sacred covenants with God. The Gospel is true and it changes our natures.
Thursday we went on an exchange with the Sister training leaders and then had K ​and C's​ baptismal interviews.
​ ​
Saturday was the baptism!! There were a lot of ward members who attended and even some of their non-member family members! President W even came which was cool! It was very neat to hear them both bear their testimony's afterwards​.​The ​Spirit was very strong. After the service ended, we were talking to them and asked them to describe how they felt in 3 words. K said "Peace, Love, Happiness​.​" And C said "O M G​.The ​Atonement has changed both of their hearts so completely​. I feel privileged to have been here at this time to see them accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ​.
​ ​
It was a good day!​
C and us!

Sometimes K will text us and say things like "I feel God's love today." He is very sensitive to the Spirit! 

​I had a great week!!
Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The power of the Atonement


This week has definitely been a good one! I feel like the past 2 weeks my companion and I have really started getting things figured out. It's definitely been different moving to a new area, but it's been a good learning experience for me! I think missionary work is something that you can never completely "figure out" Kind of like all the people in the scriptures who built boats (Noah, Nephi. bro of Jared). They all did it different ways, the trick was just finding out how the Lord wanted them to work, and when. Noah was told right from the beginning how exactly to build the ark, but it took 120 years. Nephi was told step by step what to do, precept upon precept. And the Brother of Jared was told to simply "build them like you built them before". Then, when he went to The Lord with a problem, he was told to figure out a solution himself then take it back to The Lord. It kind of reminds me of Elder Bednar's "discourses on light" (especially the third one) that are on We all receive revelation differently, depending on the person and on the situation (for instance, Moses didn't have time to build a boat and The Lord knew that, so he let him simply split the sea!). I think missionary work is similar. there are basic, overarching principals and tools, but there also are a wide variety of missions, missionaries, and investigators, so The Lord gives us specific revelation based on our needs and abilities. And based on what we need to learn as individuals as well. I've definitely learned a lot about receiving revelation as a missionary. it is impossible to do missionary work without it, and it's amazing to see how the Lord is so ready and willing to give it!

This week we did a LOT of biking. Sister B and I are definitely feeling it. We've had a few 25 mile days. It's been pretty rainy here, too. Last night we were out tracting and it suddenly started POURING! Thankfully, it was time to go in anyway, but we were soaking by the time we got home! It was cool last night and even this morning, to hear the rain and thunder.

Kentucky is so beautiful. I can't even stand it. The weather (minus the rain!) has been sooo nice.

This week we taught K and he is doing SO great!!! He quit smoking cold-turkey and is now living the word of wisdom 100%!!! It's amazing to see how much the Atonement has changed him in just a month. He says he no longer has any desire to do any of the bad things that he was struggling with. Literally, a month ago we were sitting on the stairs outside his apartment with him, trying to convince him not to drop us, and that he COULD overcome his challenges, and not be defined by the past. It's powerful to see how completely and how quickly the Atonement has changed him. He was bearing his testimony to a less-active who is struggling with smoking and it was so perfect for him. I am SO excited for him to finally be able to get baptized :)
C is also doing very well. We re-set his baptismal date, and it's pretty solid :) He also bore an awesome testimony in gospel principals on Sunday!!!

Funny story, we were over at Brother M's home (our ward mission leader) for coordination with the Elders and his little daughter called us the "mom missionaries" and the Elders the "dad missionaries". Then Bro. M asked which she liked better and she pointed to the "Dad missionaries". Mom's are always the bad guys, I guess! haha.
Well, I hope that everyone has a GREAT week!!!! :)
Sister Galloway

"Bee Sting or a Bike Wreck?" I chose....

This week was very busy!! We had interviews with President W on Wednesday, then Zone meeting on Friday. We have to catch the bus early, so our district/other meetings take up most of the day when we have them. But, despite the lost time we had, we still got a lot of good work done and learned some good things!
Monday was very wet and rainy! We had 2 set appointments, but both of them fell through. We ended up tracting that night, and it ended up working out well, because we found a new investigator, and a super great potential, who just happened to be out at the right moment as we were getting ready to leave to go home. Sister B got TWO more flat tires this week, but we finally got it figured out!!! And speaking of bikes, I got in my first crash this week! I was riding through a (thankfully empty) parking lot, and a bee flew into my shirt! So, I ended up spazzing out and crashing. But, on the plus side, I didn't get stung!

I definitely would take a bike wreck over a bee sting.

We also taught K this week. He is doing SO well and is truly being changed by the Atonement. It amazes me how spiritually sensitive he is. He recognizes so easily when the spirit is/isn't in his life. Because of that, he is incredibly diligent with personal prayer and Book of Mormon reading. He has some pretty bad addictions he has had for awhile, but the past few weeks he has made incredible progress. I think it's really amazing how we, as 19/20 year olds, begin teaching these complete strangers the gospel and then expect them in a relatively short time, to completely change their life and be baptized. The fact that people do change, and that the work moves forward, is a huge testimony to me of the power of the Atonement and the reality of the Gospel.

This week we also had a training by the AP's. It was on getting investigators to church. As a part of the training, we  all went on a Church tour together, which we sometimes do with investigators. We just walked around the chruch, looked at the paintings, and were occasionally asked a question. It was amazing to me how strong the Spirit was. I think sometimes we forget how sacred our church buildings really are because we go there so often.
We also had a really great training Friday about setting goals, and then taking it to The Lord and letting  him know what we will do specifically, and then asking him for specific hep.

Last week, President let our zone go to Thunder over Louisville, which is one of the biggest firework shows in the nation and the opening to the Kentucky Derby, so that was fun!! I "almost" felt like a celebrity because so many people noticed us and said hi. 

Ash with other Sisters @ Thunder over Louisville.

I've ruined 3 different article of clothing due to splattering from my bike. Booo.. But, I wouldn't want to be in a car even if I could! I love my bike.

The members here in J-town -well, a lot of them at least- are transplants form Utah, so there's a lot more classic "Mormon culture."  Two members gave us Easter baskets, which was suuuper sweet of them. But it also means that I've had candy, for breakfast the past two days.

Being on a mission is, in no wise easy for me, but the longer I am out, the more I realize how desperately I, personally, need this. Being on a mission puts everything under a magnifying glass. The highs are really high and the lows can be very low. But I've also been able to see my specific strengths and even more especially, my weaknesses. Without my mission, I wouldn't have been given the opportunity to prune myself  a bit. I am really grateful for that.

I hope everyone had a great easter!!!
Sister Galloway

P. S. ​ Today is my 8 month mark!!! Whaaa​t?!!!!!​