Monday, March 2, 2015

Two Baptisms and my Testimony

I only have few minutes to email today, but I thought I'd share a little about my week!  I have a lot to do today. I'm assuming that coming home Wednesday MIGHT make up for a shorter email ;)

This week T and E were baptized!! One of the Elders, who actually found T a few transfers ago, was able to come up and baptize her. Both baptisms went really well and they were very excited :) 

I can't believe how fast the time has flown. In the past 18 and a half months, I've come to understand the Atonement so much more than I did before. I know that prayer is a two way communication and that Heavenly Father answers the prayer of faith. I know that he will move mountains for us and our loved ones. I also know that The Book of Mormon is true. Through it, we come to know our Savior in a powerful way. I know that there is power in the basics of the gospel. If we will focus on gospel principles, we will be happy and find solutions. The gospel blesses families and leads us to happiness even if we have difficult circumstances. I love my Savior. He has strengthened me and always given me exactly what I needed. I have found so much joy in serving Him. By loosing my life in His service, I've found it. I know that Heavenly Father loved us enough to call Joseph Smith as a prophet. I know that he did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that he did restore Christ's church on the earth. The Holy Ghost has witnessed that to me many times throughout my mission. It is so important to keep the Holy Ghost in our lives. It is by so doing, that we are cleansed, and retain a remission of our sins throughout our lives. I know that Heavenly Father has given us all the tools we need to be happy now and to return to his presence clean and pure. I know that those tools are the Gospel, complete with priesthood authority. I have a testimony of sincere prayer, frequent scripture study, and of the power that partaking of the sacrament each week. The things that I believe about the Gospel aren't different from what they were 18 months ago, but my capacity to live it and the depth of my personal conversion has grown. I will always be so grateful for this chance I've had to be one of Heavenly Father's missionaries...because I love Him.

E's Baptism!

One Week Left

Wow. I can hardly believe that this upcoming week is my last! I know it's cliche to say, but it really has flown by!! I am so sad to leave this beautiful place and these beautiful people because this is my life now. But when I think back, I was always so sad to leave each area when I got transferred. Heavenly Father always had bigger plans and different experiences for me. So I know that He will continue to lead me just as he has the past 18 months. I feel so overwhelmed about going home, though. I don't even know what to say or how to feel. I don't feel ready to go home. I have pushed the fact that I was leaving so far to the side, that now reality is staring me straight in the face. When  I got my flight plans this week, it  was a sad, sad day on my mission; I had to just cry for a little while. Then I decided I'd better start thinking about packing. Mom, don't stress about making the house perfect or the days planned or anything else. I'm still just Ashlyn and things will be great no matter what. I'm excited to get off the plane and see you all!! :)

Last week we got the Craziest weather so the libraries were closed Monday and Tuesday!  We also had to stay in our apartment for 1 1/2 days until the roads were clear. I had driven in the snow earlier in the day before we knew we were supposed to stay in and only got stuck a few times. I managed to get through it, though. So, I will update you all on the highlights the past 2 weeks (and there are a lot!!)

Snowy Kentucky!! 

Monday the 9th Deanna got married!!! It was simple, but went really well for us having only 3 days notice. :)  (Thank you Relief Society!!)

The marriage! 

Tuesday, Linda and Deanna both passed their baptismal interviews and Thursday we had Zone Meeting. That night, we also taught the R family. They are relatives of another investigator, T. They are so wonderful! And I love it even more because they have 3 girls just like my family :) We taught the Restoration and it went really well! The girls all were reading scriptures and participating, even though they are pretty young (primary aged). They have a baptismal date for March and I am so, so excited for them!! Finding that family was a big tender mercy.

Valentines Day was amazing!! In the morning, we traveled to Louisville and Elder D. Todd Christofferson spoke to all the missionaries, as well as Elder Soares from the Seventy. Elder Christofferson definitely had a very strong spirit with him, but was also very funny. We had some Q&A and at the end, he bore his testimony to us. He told us that he wanted us to remember that we were there with him, and that "I know." He testified of how actively involved Christ is in the governing of His church. He also left us his Apostolic Blessing. It was probably one of the neatest things I've ever heard. The Spirit was very strong. 

Afterwards, I had Chick-Fil-A for the first time in 6 months-yay!! :)

Then we came home and had L and D's baptism!! D got to get baptized by her son, who joined the church 2 years ago. So that was very special for her. L's baptism was a little interesting since she has a Traech!! (Or however you spell it). Because it goes directly to her lungs, absolutely NO water can get in. We found out a few days before the baptism that there was no plug for it. She had to just hold her had around it as she went under the water. However, Heavenly Father provided and she not only went under once 100% fine, but even when the witnesses said she had to go under again, she had no issues with water getting in! It was definitely a miracle :)

We had another Sister go in the font while L was being baptized to assist her. 

D's son wasn't looking at the camera in any of the pictures we took. 

This week was good too. C (who will also be Ashlyn's roommate at BYU-I) who is planning on putting her papers in, got permission to stay with us for a few days to get a taste for missionary life. So that was neat! 

Giving C a taste of missionary life! 

This upcoming Sunday, E (L's grandchild) and T are both getting baptized!! We are so, so excited for them.

See you all soon! :)

-Sister Ashlyn Galloway