Sister Jordyn Galloway
Did President Monson’s announcement affect your choice to serve a mission at all?
President Monson's announcement reaffirmed my commitment and desire to serve a mission. I have wanted to serve a mission for a long, long time and it was wonderful to be allowed that chance now. In fact, I would write all of my guy friends serving missions about how I wish I was the one out preaching the gospel and I remember writing several times that if I could leave the next day, I would. I feel like this is the time in my life when a mission just makes sense.
Why did you decide to serve a mission?
I decided to serve a mission because the gospel is the one thing in my life that brings me joy. Joy to me is happiness and peace. I find those two feelings in this gospel. I love knowing my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. It hurts my heart to know that there are people who have to live without knowing what I know. This gospel has deeply affected my life and I have been so blessed by it. It is my dearest and most priceless possession. I love sharing it.
What are some things that you’ve done (so far) to prepare?
Some things I have been trying to do to prepare are shopping, studying, organizing... There are lists and I am just basically trying to keep up! haha I have been trying to keep a regular schedule for sleep, which hasn't been incredibly difficult because I work an 8-5 job, Monday-Friday. I am trying to increase my activity level and eat healthier. I have been trying to more effectively study my scriptures and trying to be a better student of the gospel. I went to the temple and took out my endowments on February 23. I think this was the most important thing I have done to prepare. I am more focused on my purpose as a missionary and that is important because it is so hard to not get distracted or side tracked by the little dumb things. The power and peace the temple brings into your life is unmatched and unattainable anywhere else. I strongly, strongly recommend going to the temple as soon as you can. Everything else can wait. The temple is where life just comes together and makes sense.
Best websites/talks to read:
I love reading any talk or report on missionary work or temples. I completely geek out when I come across something new or recent on those topics. I love this month's LDSLiving issue! This month has a section on conversion and is very missionary centered with statistics before and since the big October announcement. It is brilliant. One of my absolute favorite places to read about missionary work is from a blog of a sister serving in Berlin. Her blog is bellainberlin.blogspot.com and it is the best thing EVER. She inspired me to start my blog, and while mine isn't of any noteworthy caliber, it will hopefully show my experience and testimony as a servant of the Lord. Another blog I like to look at is sismissmall.blogspot.com. It is the blog for a store in Orem, Utah called Sister Missionary Mall. I really love what the administrator of the blog posts about sister missionary fashion. It is interesting, helpful, and inspiring.
What is the best mission advice you’ve ever received?
The best mission advice I have received is that I won't convert people. The Spirit will convert people. My job as a missionary is to love and serve the people. As I am doing this I am tasked with the responsibility of inviting the Spirit. I am excited to work hard and love those I get to serve. It will be the best adventure yet!
Favorite missionary scripture/quote?
My favorite quote that I like to associate with missionary work is by President Monson. I have written him down as saying this: "Gaze upward, look inward, reach outward, press forward." He didn't mean this to be a quote on missionary work, in fact I think the talk it is found in was on something along the lines of trials or enduring to the end, but I think these words apply to The Work as well.
Tips on staying positive during the preparation process?
Satan has upped his game. As soon as I started the process of applying for missionary recommendation and starting my paperwork, I could tell he was interested in stopping what I desired to do. I faced a darkness I hadn't seen before. It wasn't until I came across a scripture in Joseph Smith History 1:20 that I fully understood what was going on. In this scripture Joseph Smith says, "It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?" Satan used, and still uses, everything in his arsenal to make me doubt, tempt me, and try me. These things I doubt and struggle with are usually not things I doubt or struggle with. I feel like Joseph did. Satan is paying attention. He knows what is at stake and is ready to put up a fight. He knows us and will do what he can to keep us from being "annoyers and disturbers of his kingdom". The wonderful thing in it all is we are children of an all-powerful and very loving Heavenly Father. Remember this. Remember your worth. Read, pray, and band together. Go to the temple. Find sanctuary with loving friends and family members. Let them lift you up and help you to remember your purpose and source of strength because this is a full contact sport. Put on your armor Sisters! (And Elders!)
What is the best mission advice you could give to someone preparing to serve?
Go to the temple! Right now, if you can. Go early, go often. I regret not going sooner. Soak up as much knowledge as you can from the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. Get a patriarchal blessing. Stress less, pray more. I have worried too much and not trusted my Father in Heaven enough through this process. Breathe! There is life and not just lists, so relax and remember to enjoy this process.
How long did it take you to complete your paperwork and submit it?
I thought I could drag my feet and try to earn a little extra money before fully turning in my papers, so they didn't get put in until the first full week of December. This was misinterpreted by my parents and bishop as hesitation, when really I was feeling guilty that I didn't fully have the means to pay for my own mission. My savings were minimal because I wasn't planning on going on a mission for another 2 years. I had just gotten a really good job that would allow me to make decent money and was planning on saving it for a mission. The Lord had other plans and I am learning to not take so much pride in being independent. Blessings are everywhere!
5 cool things about the area you will serve:
My area is the entire country because it hasn't been divided... yet. Lisbon is a major tourist city. The country has a major fishing industry. My mission president and his wife are both from the Salt Lake City, Utah area. There is a group of islands off of the coast of Portugal called the Azores and they are included in my mission.
5 things you will miss about home:
I will miss my family. We are very close and each other's best friends. I will miss my Idaho mountains and small town. I will miss my friends that I have grown really close to. I think I might miss hearing my native tongue (English).
Thanks, Sister Galloway, and good luck in Portugal! I know it will be fabulous.