Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fourteen point five Months

     It's so interesting looking back at the past 14 months and how much I've learned and changed as a missionary. At first, I was so excited to be here, so ready to be a missionary. I also felt very impatient with my weaknesses and felt just such a disconnect from "Ashlyn" and "Sister Galloway."  I realized I was homesick and that I was burying a lot of things instead of acknowledging and trying to healthily improve myself. I had to really use the Atonement and decide that I wanted to be where I was. That kind of sums up my first area of Corbin. I had some amazing experiences there and will always treasure my time there. That's when I decided that I wanted to be a missionary. During my first two transfers in Jeffersontown, I realized that I could do it, that I had changed quite a bit, and was doing well. Then, my last two transfers in Jeffersontown were a little rougher. Heavenly Father really humbled me. Though I had many blessings, it felt like no success or victory came easily. And when they did come, they were very small. I had to work diligently and hard and learn to have faith with seemingly no results. If I didn't do everything in my power, nothing would happen in the area. When good things happened in missionary work, I was so aware of how much it was really God, not me. A big lesson I learned there was to have gratitude. I was trying so hard to have faith, but it felt like there was just no foundation for it and it felt like I was grasping at nothing. Acknowledging the blessings in every day helped me to really strengthen my faith. Because  when I looked at the evidence of The Lord's hand in my life, I could have the hope and faith that I would continue to see that.

Missionary Artwork.  The green ones are my favorite ones right now.

Learning that lesson really helped me here in Henderson, last transfer. Again, it felt like running on a treadmill -doing the same, hard things over and over while seeing little to no results. Then, I found out that this area may get closed and I had to choose to have faith and diligence. It didn't get closed and I am still here. And I am working hard to train Sister Jarman. Things are definitely picking up. Our investigator, J. H., is doing SO well and is a huge blessing! He has a baptismal date for Nov 30th!! We pray that his baptism will happen because it will be the 1st baptism since this area opened 1 year ago.
One of our investigators who came to church!

Cool experience of the week: We decided to go to this little hole-in-the-wall burger and fry place. When we got up to pay, someone had payed for us!!  I have no idea who it was. There are so few members here, especially in the city limits, that most likely it wasn't even a member, which is doubly nice. I love that there are so many good, good Christian people here. #warmfuzzies

The breaks on my bike are NOT working. At all. Well, my front breaks do slow me down a little. The good news is that we have Zone Meeting tomorrow in Evansville. I called the Zone Leaders and asked them to please ask/beg Elder F to fix my bike. Hopefully he'll be able to. But if not, there's a bike shop we can stop by.  I'm very excited to have breaks again!!
A small kitchen catastrophe on my part!

I am so grateful for all of the lessons I've learned on my mission and know that there is still so much that Heavenly Father will teach me. I am so grateful for the Atonement. There really is never a point where you're "done." Repentance is meant to continue throughout our lives. The Atonement is not a one-time thing and I'm grateful for the ways it has changed my life and that it will continue to change me!

Have a wonderful week :)
-Sister Ashlyn Galloway (And I am now the same person!)

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