Monday, June 30, 2014

Look Vertical for Help

{Ashlyn's letter today wasn't a normal letter. She said she had a lot of people to email today, including a longer letter to her new mission president. Because her time was going to be short, she just wrote in bullet points!}

Things are good!  I got a new companion! Her name is Sister Bl. And she only has 3 transfers left including this one. Sister Bl's great, though!! She's a really good teacher and we teach very well together which is so nice. That's probably one of my favorite things to have in a companionship. {Sidenote from Jana: I dreamed the other night that I saw Ashlyn and her new companion & I knew her name. When I woke up, I could only remember that her last name started with a B. Crazy!!}

Me & Sister BL

-President B (Our new GKLM mission president) got here this week!! Crazy. When we were at the mission office for district meeting, the missionaries that were passing through started putting little sticky notes to him on the office door. I made a little "welcome" sign with colored index cards. 

-This week I was thinking of a scripture that, if I could go back in time, I think I'd read to myself as mission advice. It's Alma 34:34. The things on which our hearts are set don't magically change when you're set apart, or arrive in the mission field. Yes, you do experience a lot of change and refining, but the price is high, too. It's really like Enos said, a "wrestle before God." So, here's my thought for the day: It's so important to purify our hearts and set them on only the most important things. In other words, we need to develop self-mastery so we will be prepared for a mission, callings in the church, our home, or to one day be in Heavenly Father's presence.

-This past Tuesday was AWESOME because we did time and got to see the David Archuleta interview. omgosh omgosh omgosh. Have you seen it?? It is so great.
                                                    David Archuleta's AMAZING Interview 

-Converts are so cute. K calls President Monson, "Mr. Munson" and I can't get myself to correct him. Too darling!!

-Sister B (previous companion) pointed out that we hit our 10 month mark on the 21st of June and I was so surprised!! I think, internally, I thought that once I hit my 9 month mark I would just stay at 9 months forever. But life moves forward.

-{Sora T (one of our ward friends) returned home from her mission in Romania last week. I was telling Ashlyn about her homecoming talk and then mentioned how sad she is to not be a missionary anymore. Here is Ashlyn's response to coming home from a mission:  I can't imagine going home. I remember one of my MTC teachers said that the two scariest days of his life were the day he got on the plane to fly home from his mission and the night before he got married. As far as crossing that bridge when we get there, I already dislike that bridge!!! Being a missionary is great. I can't imagine ever NOT being a missionary. Not that I think I could do this for the rest of my life, but it just seems weird to look past the next 8 months.

-I have no idea what the new president will have us do for the 4th. Last year, it was no proselyting after 6 pm. The E Family invited us over for dinner that night.  Our ward is having a breakfast that morning. Our District Leader was thinking about having the whole district go to that and then having district meeting afterwards. So we'll see! #onbikes  

-We had a sweet 3rd hour lesson on Sunday. It was all on the Constitution/what the BOM says about America. Here's a thought to ponder from some talk that got quoted: In order to tell if something is Constitutional, simply look at weather it adds or takes away our agency. I thought that was cool.

-One thing I've really gained a testimony of is Prayer. I can honestly say that there is no way I would've been able to stay out this long with out personal prayer.  Heavenly Father has gotten me through the roughest times on my mission through the gift of prayer. It's amazing how difficult it really can be to just stop, kneel, and pour out your heart to God. But it is SO powerful. I have felt his love in such personal, specific ways as I've simply prayed. It's amazing that at any moment, in any situation we can simply "look vertical for help."

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer, Summer, Summertime!!

This week has gone by quickly! Saturday we got transfer calls and Sister B is leaving. Tuesday I'll be getting a new companion here in J-town! ) Please pray I get a good companion. I've never had a bad one, but that also makes me feel like I might be pushing my luck. I have been able to learn something from each of my companions and I am so grateful for the time to serve with each of them. 
Sister B taught me how to ride public transportation and other important lessons. I went into my mission terrified of Public Transportation.

We also were blessed Sunday because one of our investigators who normally works on Sundays, randomly got a day off and decided to come to church!! So seeing her there was a definite blessing!

J, who had a baptism date, unfortunately didn't come to church :( He wasn't sure if he felt ready or if he even should come to our church, so we invited him to pray about it last week. He did, and drove half way there, but then didn't go through with it and went home. But, it was a very big step for him nonetheless and we can see how the spirit is slowly, steadily working on him as he reads and prays everyday. He is a really awesome guy, though.

A beautiful sunset in Kentucky!

Awkward missionary moment: When your comp's former companion comes running up to you at a fireside yelling, "I"M PREGNANT!! I"M PREGNANT!!!!" She had to let us know that she's going to be training next transfer. hahahahaha!!!

My district

Oh! And, something that's been happening recently, is that whenever I verbalize, or pray for something specific, Heavenly Father TOTALLY makes it happen. Cheesecake was the first example, but I've also in the past week or two asked for:

1.) a water bottle. Then this stranger offered us both bottled water as we were biking, within 30 minutes of me telling Heavenly Father I was thirsty.
2.) I didn't pray for this, but I told Sister B how good a Gatorade sounded one day. The next night we were at some member's house for dinner and they gave us each one.

3.) The dress you sent. Definitely a blessing from Heavenly Father! It's soooo funny because I was JUST telling Sis B about how much I love my knit, dark purple dress at home. And then I got the new one in the mail!! {Several weeks ago, Ashlyn mentioned that she would like a new dress for the summertime, one that was knit fabric and comfortable. She said it wasn't a necessity and just if I saw one that would work, it would be nice to have. Heavenly Father is a God of miracles because I happened to find one for in her favorite color.}
4) I told you I would pray for AM and G. And now I hear that I have a new baby (GIRL!!!) cousin, as of early this morning!! Another answer to prayer. 
It's just funny -little seeming "coincidences" that Heavenly Father makes them work. I've really come to see how true the last few verses in 3 Nephi 13 are. haha!
Sister B and myself...hanging out.

We taught the B's this week. (The family who referred themselves on It went pretty well. They still have many, many questions that I don't know how to answer correctly. I can give them answers, but I don't always know what the best way to answer them. So please pray that we will be able to resolve their concerns, they will be able to recognize the Spirit, see how the BofM and Bible works together and that, finally, they will know that the BofM is true.
  I literally think I've read every article in the Ensign from the past 5 years.)

I got asked out by a 35  year old. And he was  mad when I said no. Hahaha!!! But, I think his friend really respected who we are, as missionaries. He wants to take the lessons from us! I think he's sincere. We will take a member with us, though.
The planner cover I made! Aka... my only creative outlet! :p Yay, for only using conference Ensigns from the dinosaur age. haha!

L (aka our "go to" member who we adore, who also is a  convert of 1.5 years & who loves every missionary ever ) wanted to have us and the Elders over before Sister B & Elder F got transferred, but the only night we had open was tonight, when the Elders were going over. It is against the rules to eat together with the Elders. BUT, we called President W (which, is always kind of an adrenaline rush because it's intimidating) and asked if we could go. He said yes! Acutally, he said, "My son always says 'responsibility brings privilege.' " #fistpump #hethinksimresponsible #omgosh
Kentucky is so beautiful and green.
I could be in an ad for an allergy commercial!

I think consistent, sincere, personal prayer and scripture study is one aspect of the Gospel that I've really strengthened my testimony on. It makes such a clear, obvious difference in investigator's lives and progression. I've also seen how even taking the effort to make each of my prayers a little more sincere and my study a little more seriously makes a big difference in how I feel each day and how The Lord is able to bless me as a missionary.
I hope you all have a great week!!!
Sister Galloway

Monday, June 16, 2014

For future reference, Liberian Food is not on my list of Favorites...

I swear, each week goes faster and faster! This week we had some cool teaching appointments and some neat blessings! 

Last Zone Conference was focused a lot on going back to the basics: Preach My Gospel and The Book of Mormon. We were challenged to get a new copy of The Book of Mormon and read it cover to cover in 120 days, and highlight every time it talks about Christ. On top of that, I decided that I needed to re-read PMG cover to cover as well and do each study activity instead of studying by topic like I have. It was neat because the day I started it, we met with a Less-active who had read Lehi's dream in The Book of Mormon. He had some of the exact same questions in a study activity in Chapter 1 that I had done that morning. It definitely emphasized to me the importance of not only teaching by the Spirit, but also studying by the Spirit. The Lord blesses us when we stay rooted in the fundamentals.

We also taught our investigator G, who hasn't shown much desire/commitment lately. We tried really hard to focus on the Spirit and on listening to him and were blessed to be able to understand one of his concerns about God. 

Saturday was an interesting day... I narrowly avoided being fed chicken feet!! Unfortunately, Sister B wasn't so lucky. We went to teach a man who immigrated from Liberia a few years ago. His less-active wife fed us some rice with this really spicy sauce stuff on top. In the sauce was a mixture of ham, shrimp, chicken feet and other things she tried explaining that I couldn't quite understand. We actually had JUST finished having a conversation with her about how she sends money to her family in Liberia for food every month. And then she fed us. All the things people say about "finish your food, there are starving children in Africa" came to mind in a whole new way!!! Yikes! So, I felt obligated to eat EVERY BITE. Yuck. And, at one point Sister B was having trouble with her chicken foot (which, in case you're wondering wasn't cut up, it looked exactly like a chicken foot!). She asked me if I wanted any and... I couldn't do it!! Companion fail. I was having enough trouble with my plate. And her daughter was sitting there, happily munching on her chicken foot, eating the BONES AND EVERYTHING!!  But she said, "you're not used to it, so you probably shouldn't eat it like my daughter." (insert extreme facial expression for me here.)  BUT, their whole family came to church on Sunday, so that was exciting! Maybe even worth eating chicken feet for. Uhh...maybe.

Okay, so what exactly does "no soliciting" infer? I've had missionaries tell me that we aren't soliciting because we are just going around trying to say prayers with people. We had this really rude guy yell at us this week. I'd like to know where the sign actually was on his door. He was not nice, at all.

Sister B and I made up a song to Taylor Swift's song  "Mean" once about people who are not so nice. Part of it goes "Someday, I'll be living with my big ol' family, and you'll be sitting on a stupid star, look at you down, so, farrrr." It's a gem!

Okay, back to the legal implications of things. What happens if your mailman doesn't come everyday?? There were two days this week that he  DIDN'T come at all!!! >:( And, a lot of times he doesn't take our mail we're trying to send. Blah. 

The only baking supplies we have in our apartment is flour and powdered sugar, so Sister B and I were thinking about making Kool-Aid with powdered sugar. Do you think it'll work?!!! Since moving out, I've learned that not everyone puts gobs of powdered sugar on their french toast. Seriously, not everyone first lets it absorb and mix into the melted butter, then puts more on top. Because obviously if there's not dry, white powdered sugar on top, you don't have enough!!  

Also, will you send me an easy recipe for the Cafe Rio dressing to go with my burritos?

Mom, could you please sabotage a certain somebody's relationship that she has right now? I really need her to be single when I get home. That would be nice. Yeah??? #awesomethanksmom. {Note from Jana: I texted this lovely person, who happens to be one of my favorite people as well,  and she said I would have to put up a fight in order to sabotage it! Hmmm....sounds like love to me.}

Well, I hope that everyone has a great week!!

Looooove you,
 Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Monday!

This week, once again, was full of many finding activities! We are having a hard time getting progressing investigators, but have seen some definite miracles! :) 
My mom is out of school now and has time to do project likes this. I call it the  "Ashlyn Shrine."
One of those miracles, was with our investigator J. We have been trying sooo hard to get him to come to church and to set a baptismal date. Finding him a few weeks ago was nothing short of a miracle -we had just a few extra minutes before we had to go home and we were in a part of town we normally weren't in. We decided to knock doors. We knocked on only 3 doors in a middle section of houses and one of those was his! He has had some tough stuff to deal with lately and I know we were led to him for a special reason. This week we met with him and as we taught, we were prompted to extend a baptismal date to him -again! But this time, he accepted!! Which was a big blessing. The spirit has been able to soften his heart because he has been so diligent in reading The Book of Mormon. It truly is the word of God.

This week we also had Zone Conference. It was our last one with President and Sister W -we will be getting our new mission president (President B) in just a few more weeks! All of the trainings were on The Book of Mormon and I felt the Spirit confirm it's truthfulness to me very strongly. I know it is a special gift that Heavenly Father has given us in this day, to help us in our lives. I really felt the Spirit very strongly at this Zone Conference with some of the training activities we did. It was very powerful and I bawled my eyes out. 

Today we went to the Louisville Zoo with some members and the Beckly Sister Missionaries. It was a nice change of pace for P-day.

Louisville Zoo P-Day. Photo by a sweet member that took us.
 I've heard quite a bit about "California Chrome!" And "Secretariat," who's pretty much a legend. 

California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes this year. He lost the Triple Crown at the Preakness this year.

 "You guys can't go to horse races right? Bummer, because I can get free tickets anytime I want. Box seats." --Our ward mission leader at the last meeting. #Idon'tevenlikehavingfun

Secretariat was the last horse to win the Triple Crown in 1976.

By the way, missionaries use hashtags quite a bit, which is funny  because we're missionaries. Ha! #stickittoher #Liz #woesofateenagelife  

{My mom told  me that my sister, P, really, really hates it when people use hashtags.}

I am also including a testimony that K, the man we taught and baptized (in May), wrote down for us. His picture is here.

"To make a long story short, I have been battling drug and alcohol addiction for years. My life had gotten to a place where I had nothing left in me. I felt hopeless and didn't know where or what to do about it. When I heard a knock on the door, I opened the door and there were 2 ladies standing there. They introduced themselves as Mormon Missionaries and they asked how I was. I think I said I was good or fine and that wasn't true. The truth was that I was a mess. We talked, no I mean they talked, and I listened. I couldn't tell you a thing they said, but I felt something as they spoke and that still little voice in me said, "They can help you." But how I didn't have a clue. They asked if they could come back and as they  continued to come, I was doing everything they asked me to do, reading the Book of Mormon, praying and going to Church. I felt peace and comfort and without ever realizing it, God had taken away any desire to use drugs and alcohol. Then God took away my cigarette addiction. I am so grateful for how God as changed my life and the Church of Latter Day Saints. God lives and loves all of us. That Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for our sins and the Holy Ghost is real and Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."

This is what makes Missionary Work worth it!!

Another Zoo Picture:

Quote of the week:
"I'm talking to the youngly girls of Mormon" -an investigator talking on the phone to his mom.

 From Mandy: 
Picture taken on our Canada Trip in 2012

It's National Best Friend Day, so shout out to my beautiful, blue-eyed best friend, sister,  and number one girl in my life! We haven't seen each other in almost a year and are almost 2,000 miles apart, but that doesn't stop our friendship from growing. I love you Ashlyn, and I can't wait for the day you come home! ♥


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Book of Mormon is so cool!

This week we got to teach a couple with 5 children, the B's, who referred themselves on They are so great!! They had practically 200 questions about the chapter (Mosiah 4) we'd left them. We taught them Lesson two and three because of all the questions!! I want them to progress SO BADLY, to the point it stresses me out a little. They're great. I think, if I could choose just one really big miracle on my mission, I'd want them to be baptized! Did I mention they have five kids??!! And they want more??!!!! WHY ARE THEY NOT MORMON??????? That's like probably at least 4 missionaries and 103,304,394 B grandchildren.  I think it's neat to see how investigators get such different things out of the Book of Mormon than we sometimes do as life-long members. Since teaching them, I've made more of an effort to come at my study from an 'investigator perspective" and have gained a lot from that!

Fried Liver, anyone??
Also, I've been kind of surprised at how many simple truths many Christians just don't know.
 Here are a few examples:
-That we're not just God's creations; we are his children.
-That he has a body of flesh and bone.
-That we were present in the war in heaven.
-Spirit children=angels
Just to torture my mom who hates rodents!

 ZONE CONFERENCE! It's this Friday and will be the last time we see the W's (our mission president & wife)!! I am SO sad that they won't be here. :(  I like having President W and will miss him a lot! He is so adorable. It's funny--I don't know if you've heard him talk, but he has a super distinct voice that the missionaries imitate to each other. "Love ya, appreciate ya!" So it's sad to think about some things/traditions that might change. I feel blessed to be here serving under his direction. 

 We're going to lunch with the Hermana's today. I'm going to learn how to contact in spanish! #lasgringas
This week was a little slower than we would've liked.  I guess we're going through what Elder D calls the "after baptism blues." We don't have any seriously progressing investigators. :(
Me and Sister B's selfie--helmet head style.
We did a lot of finding and contacted a TON of referrals we receive from the Hermana's. Unfortunately, many of them weren't too interested.  I don't think we could really be doing much worse right now if we were TRYING to be terrible. The numbers we had this last week were the lowest on my mission so far. Ugghhh. But, life goes on and it's a new week.  
Anjother dead animal. This caught our attention because 1 wing was flapping in the wind.

What I love about being a missionary is that there are always miracles, big or small, everyday. I know that Heavenly Father loves each of his children, and that his hand is always in our life if we just take the time to look for it!! (Sister H served cheesecake at a cottage meeting this week. See this post for significance of that!)
Sister  Galloway