Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fleur Di Lis...

Here in Louisville, there are Fleur de Lis everywhere! 

I see them on police cars in the seal on the door.

They are on the street signs.
(Photo Cred:

They are the name of several businesses, including this condominium unit.

The seal of L'ville has it on it.

Why, you ask. Because they are the symbol of the aid given by the French army during the Revolutionary War. It means "lily flower" and was the symbol of   King Louis XVI of France, the namesake for Louisville.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Heavenly Father is REALLY, REALLY smart!!

This week held a few challenges, but as always, the Lord's hand was in each day! We had a few of our more progressing investigators drop us, so that was a little disheartening, but we also had some good things happen as well.

Tuesday night we went and taught the B family. We took Sister S, who recently returned from serving with her husband as a mission president in the Philippines. (We were really excited to go teaching with her.) It was really neat because it turns out that the investigator we took her to had grown up in the Sister S's neighborhood. She had played with her kids! Our investigator remembered the good example of that LDS family and later in life, Heavenly Father arranged the time that they would investigate the church with Sister S helping us, to line up perfectly. Heavenly Father's timing is perfect! It was a big testimony booster to me. I have to remember that even when things in missionary work or in life don't go according to 'our' plans, that Heavenly Father know each of His children and when different things need to fall into place.  It's so neat to see how Heavenly Father truly places people in certain times/situations, in order to further His work.  He gives us every opportunity for success and knows us perfectly.
This week we also taught a woman named E, who is from a small country (that I forgot how to spell.... oops)! Her husband is from Ethiopia and they are so sweet. 
We also taught J, whom we've been teaching for awhile. When we taught J, we took a member with us whom we've never been teaching with. Just like with the B family, I think she was exactly who Heavenly Father needed to be there. J has been struggling in his relationship with Christ and feels like his prayers weren't answered. The member we brought was able to share a powerful testimony about some similar experiences in her life and how God really did hear her and eventually, answer her prayers. At the time she was going through her trials, it must have felt endless and unreasonable. Not only did she learn and grow from it, but I know that her having been given that trial, was able to strengthen and lift our investigator who really needs it.

Today, Sister Bl and I are probably going to take the bus to Bardstown Road (downtown L'ville) to do a little window shopping. It's a fun part of town. We had dinner with some members down there and afterwards they showed us some streets that had some old Victorian houses/mansions on it. It was really cool! 

There is this 44 year old guy (aka "Creeper") who likes me. It made for an interesting week. I better not get transferred because of him. #SisterMissionaryProblems
I am so grateful to know that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father and that He is actively involved in my life. I know that he hears each of my prayers and answers each is his own time. I think it's easy to believe that Heavenly Father CAN answer prayers/bless us with miracles, but I think we struggle to believe that he WILL. I know that Heavenly Father not only can answer us and bless us with miracles, but that he does!! Every day, in fact! It's so important to remember to look outward and serve and help others "Come Unto Christ" because that's often how Heavenly Father answers our prayers, gives us peace/comfort, works miracles in our lives and in the lives of his other children.
Sister Ashlyn Galloway
 And one last thought....

---April is spring. Who doesn't want to get married in spring? There are flowers, blue skies and happiness. Love is in the air! ♥♥♥

---There are way more wedding dress restrictions if you get married in December because of the weather.

---There will probably be snow in December. She will get lost and no one will be able to find her in her white dress. No one wants the bride to be lost on her day!

--- Yes, I realize she lives in {WARM CLIMATE}, but since it's the "Last Days," there will probably be a crazy, random snow storm on her wedding day.

---I will cry myself to sleep every night of December if she decides to do that.

---Doesn't she want to have one last Christmas with her great family? If she gets married before Christmas, her parents will probably feel less obligated to give her presents!

---And of course, if it's in April, then I will be there!!!! And If I don't see her example of choosing to get married in the temple to a nice RM, then I might just go apostate and marry a dead-beat. Hence, I will be miserable and homeless the rest of my life!!! ha ha ha!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Another Great Week in Kentucky!!

Hello Family & Friends!!

This has been a very long, very full week it seems! But in a good way :) It's amazing to me to see how clearly the Lord's hand is in each of our lives. Everyday I see small, specific tender mercies in my life that lets me know that Heavenly Father is aware of me.

Monday was packed!! We met some investigators who'd been out of town for the past few weeks for dinner. Afterwards, we went straight to FHE at the M family's house where we taught a lesson on missionary work. After that, we went to meet a couple whom a member from another ward referred to us. The Elders gave the wife a blessing and we set a baptism date with her! They seem to know quite a bit about the gospel and are very excited.

Tuesday: My birthday!! My District Leaders called and sang happy birthday to me. They would have brought waffles over, but I had an exchange with the Sister Training Leaders in Fairdale. I was with Sister L, who knows the Austin's!!  It was fun because the majority of the people they teach there are from Asia or the Middle East. Most of them speak very, very little English. It was definitely a different experience. The only bad part was that there were swarms of June Bugs & grasshoppers. Blech! You would've been proud of how I bravely tore through the bug-infested grass to contact this man. And as bugs flew at my head during our conversation, I occasionally ducked and silently squealed. However, I bravely continued on contacting him. #TakethatSatan 

That night we shared the Funfetti birthday cake we made with the STLs. The Zone Leaders came by (trying to be sneaky, but we watched them do the whole thing) and dropped off some cake and ice cream! So that was sweet of them :)

Funny---they signed it from the J-Dub Friends! 

I definitely felt loved on my birthday. I got birthday goodies from Grandma & Aunt Jo too! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I was SO excited about everything in the packages!  Mom, the red velvet cake you sent will have to wait. I had plenty of sweets that day. Maybe I'll bake it for my year mark! :) Can you believe that it's coming right up?! 

Wednesday: Wednesday was a loooong day because we had meetings all day! We had interviews and then coordination that night. President B is so crazy-it's going to be a blast to have him as our new mission president.

Thursday: We met an AWESOME new investigator! His name is R. He is also an independent movie producer. Since first meeting him, he's wanted to meet almost every night and is very fascinated by Joseph Smith.

Friday: We did weekly planning and then helped our recent convert with his talk. Then we taught R again.

Saturday: Also a good day! We met a woman named E, who is from Africa. She has a 1 year old daughter and doesn't speak very good English, but she speaks 2 other languages I've never heard of before! She was interested in our message. Hopefully, there's a Book of Mormon in at least one of the languages she speaks!! Oh, and this day was SUPER weird because a.) the mail came at like 2:00-which has NEVER happened--it's usually 5:30 and b.) PAIGE WROTE ME A LETTER--which is the first time in 11 months to get a letter from her in the mail.
Sunday: R came to church! And we set a baptismal date with him that night. We also taught J a lesson on faith. One thing that I love about being a missionary, is the privilege of having so much guidance from the Spirit. Sometimes we may not understand all the promptings we receive or we may be afraid to follow them, but doing what it tells us to anyway always brings happiness to our lives and especially to the lives of others.

I am so thankful Uncle G. is okay!!! {He was a passenger in a truck that rolled last week.} And I was so sad to hear about that family in Houston. :(  

So here's a quick story one of the recent converts in my ward told us. She's in her 20's and has a 5yr old son, but her fiance died a couple of years ago. She said that when she was about 14 she got herself into a bad situation and was raped :( She had an abortion and for many, many years wasn't at a good place with God. She didn't know why this had happened to her and she felt haunted by her decision to abort. After her fiance died, she finally went back to a Christian Church. She felt like she was at a good place with God in her life. She knew he had forgiven her, but still kind of buried her regret and guilt and sorrow. Last November, she started a new job. On her way to work each day, she drove past 4 large, low to the ground pro-life billboards. In December, she came in contact with a member of the church and soon after agreed to meet with missionaries. Finally, in March, she was baptized. The following Sunday, she was confirmed. The next day, as she drove to work, ALL FOUR of the billboards were changed!!! She had gone 5 months seeing them and then the day after her confirmation, they were ALL changed! She says she laughed and cried and then texted the Elders. Isn't that SO cool?! It's amazing how baptism truly is a COMPLETE remission of sins/guilt that can come in no other way. And it's a testimony to me that HF loved her enough to change all four of them the day after her confirmation, to let her know that she was forgiven from her sins. :)

Other things to note:
1. Sorry, I can't marry someone with the same name as my Dad. {Funny story that isn't blog appropriate--ask my mom!!} 

2. A 44 year-old has a crush on me. #notthefirsttime #10cowbride

3. I really love that people sign up to feed me. So when I get home, my plan is to send a meal calendar around the Single's Ward Elder's quorum. :)  {Ashlyn+Food=BLISS}

 It's so neat to see how aware God is of each of his children and how universal the Gospel is. I hope everyone had a GREAT week this week!! I love you all!!  

Happy Birthday to me! 

-Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Quote of the week; "I believe that is a good way to face the unpleasant things in our lives, not complaining but thanking the Lord for the trust He places in us when He gives us the opportunity to overcome difficulties."  Elder Richard G. Scott 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Charity Never Faileth

This week has been pretty crazy!! First off, we had Zone Conference, and got to meet our new mission president, President B, from Utah!! He is great! He was in the Air Force for 25 years. In his introduction, he made it clear to us that he was a "fighter" pilot, not one of those that just haul trash around. He is a pretty funny guy! 
Things that have happened this week:
-A random man asked to ride my companion's bike. (It is a bright yellow & pink beach cruiser, by the way.) 
-A drunk lady kissed us on the cheek.
-Met President & Sister B
-I ate a grilled cheese donut (It actually was good....)

A Grilled Cheese Donut!

 Oh! And thanks everyone for all the birthday emails!! I didn't have time to reply to very many because we had a survey we had to do, but I really appreciated them!! :) You all are the best!  As H pointed out, I'm now 1/2 way to 40.   -__- We bought a cake to bake today, except we forgot to buy oil/eggs, so we'll have to go back and get those! haha :) 

Chair Yoga---when life is stressful and there's not a good outlet for it.

Things have been a little crazy with getting a new mission president. Everyone in the mission seems to be running at full-speed ahead. And we are all getting a little commitment-happy, so I have been trying to not be overwhelmed with that. 

Here are the commitments that we have been extended:
-Read BOM in 120 days (5 pgs a day)
-Re-read PMG front to back (5 pgs a day)
-Study the faith ladder everyday in personal study
-Start a 40 day fast (Obedience fast---to give up something that might be distracting them from the work.)
-Do an obedience checklist every night for 40 days
-Do a 'Vision to Baptise' checklist for 40 days
-Fast for how you can be more obedient
-Study charity everyday
-Have 3 baptismal dates by the end of the transfer
-Life Calendar (personal daily goal setting)
And those are just what come to mind. So, needless to say we have been a little overwhelmed this week!!
One thing that I've been really trying to work on this transfer is charity. It is one quality that I really admire in other missionaries and want to further develop. Sometimes it can be really difficult to love people who don't treat us kindly or people who are strangers. Jesus Christ is truly the center of developing charity. I've realized what a difference it makes in how I feel when I make a conscious effort to love whoever I am talking with or teaching. In reflecting back to the beginning of my mission to now, I realize that having charity is all about turning outward. The more effort I make to turn outward, instead of thinking about myself, the happier I am and the more love I can feel. 

We came to the awful realization this week that we had NO junk food in our apartment!!!! The junkiest thing we had was whole-grain goldfish. For reals. So, we tried to get creative. Sister B made a blueberry bagel pizza. :p
Sister B and her pizza.

We've been doing a LOT of contacting and it's been neat to see all the little miracles that come from that. Even when people are rude, talking to them always invites Spirits more into my heart. It's neat how you can really tell if the Spirit's present.  It should be a consistent thing. Sometimes we look for the bigger spiritual feelings in our heart, but it should be a continuous undertone. The verse in Galatians has helped me to recognize that. 
I feel so privileged to be able to be a missionary. There are so many people who need Christ. By our words and example, we all can work with Heavenly Father to bring souls to him. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary. I love the Gospel and know that this is Christ's true church.
Sister Ashlyn Galloway

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Fourth!!

July 4th, 2014
This week has been a good one! I am constantly amazed by how many miracles are in each day, and how clearly I can see the Lord's hand in my life and especially in the lives of those whom I talk with.
One thing we have been working on as a companionship, and also as a district, is contacting. It's been really neat to see that as we have gone out of our way to contact those who we may not have otherwise talked with, Heavenly Father has been able to bless our life and theirs. A few examples of that this week are a woman who had just been asking God for guidance, a man using a table saw who we almost didn't contact, but really needed a prayer and message about Christ, and many others. We contacted a woman at a gas station and asked to say a prayer with her. She said no, but we asked why and she started to tear up and said her mother had just passed away and that she wasn't in a good place with God. I know that Heavenly Father was very aware of her and her pain and sent us to talk to her so that she would know that he was aware of her.
This week we also taught J and gave him a church tour. (It's amazing the spirit that really is in our church buildings. I also believe and know that taking the sacrament each week really helps us to use the Atonement in our lives.) J is really stubborn. He recently had a sister who he was close to, pass away. She must be something special because we definitely were led to him, specifically. Although he hasn't progressed very fast by missionary standards, I feel really good about him and I figure his sister must really want her work done. We're both just waiting for him now! Ha ha!! 
Hearing about F-J really made me think of C, my homeless investigator, in Corbin. Teaching him was a very heart-wrenching experience, but the times we taught him made me realize how absolutely, thoroughly and completely aware Heavenly Father is of each of his children. And even C was able to realize God's hand in his life. I could also see, that even though the situation he was in was awful, that it was honestly humbling him in ways that he hadn't been humbled before and softening  his heart. C still has a ways to go and still needs to open up his heart some, but teaching him strengthened my testimony so much that Heavenly Father is so close to us. And I know he's aware of F-J and where F-J is physically and spiritually. He will help him as quickly as F-J lets him. Prayers are powerful and I know that Heavenly Father answers them. Also, just the fact that F-J has parents and family who LOVE him, is huge. You really see as a missionary how detrimental NOT having that is. Just my thoughts...!

I had a realization the other day that I miss Peanut. I guess it's taken me 10 months to want to see the dog again. You would tell me if he died, right??
We also had a great fourth of July!! We had a ward breakfast and then we went downtown to go to district meeting, where we had a really good training on Charity. Unfortunately, that backfired later in the day when we ran into some um, interesting fellows, but, it all worked out!! We only proselyted until 6, then spent the rest of the night at a members, and got to watch fireworks. Everyone just did their own and there were a TON! Actually, there still are some every night. I am told they will continue through the whole month.

Happy 238th Birthday, America!!
Have a WONDERFUL week!!!
Sister Galloway