Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll

With Elder Cluff, Elder Wheeler, their investigator (who was recently baptized)
and Elder Buttars
With Elder and Sister Winn

November 24, 2014

Dear Family,

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I know it's not until Thursday, but this is the last chance I get to say it before it happens. Anyway, I'm always so grateful for the letters and e-mails that I get from everyone. Thank you all so much for keeping me updated and for your words of advice. 

*For the Weekly Housekeeping:

1) Thank you so much for the Thanksgiving package! I know you won't be happy to hear this but the package was delivered to the front porch of the trailer. Don't worry, the package was in great condition when I found it. 

2) No slippers please. They’ll just be one more thing to carry around.

3) No thermals either. The weather is weird here in Kentucky. One day it's cold then a few days later it's warm. Anyway, the missionary jacket has done a good job of keeping me warm so don't worry about sending thermals.

4) Yes, we have about four packs of Uno cards that were left behind by other missionaries. I'm sure that there are some games lying around somewhere. 

5) The next transfer will be December 4, 2014.

I'm really glad that things are going well at home. I think the kittens were right about removing the green lamp off the piano (ha ha). I was wondering when those trees will be removed. Now I know. I also can't believe how much older Aubrey looks without braces! She looks awesome!

As for my adventures here in Martin, Kentucky. This week has been both a slow and miraculous week. I got to witness a baptism of an investigator. He may not have been our investigator but it was still cool to see a baptism anyway. I pray that our investigators will progress. Hopefully, we'll have better luck either during the Christmas season or after New Years Day. 

The last thing that I want to request is that everyone would keep me and my fellow missionaries (Elder Max Alley, Sister Ashley Alley, & Elder Jacob Sok) in their prayers since this will be our first Christmas away from home. I admit that the homesickness has started to kick in a little bit. I don't mean to worry anyone, just please keep us in your prayers. Thank you so much. I love you all and miss you all.

Elder Michael Alley 

* Note from Elder Alley’s mom: The Weekly Housekeeping items are answers to questions we asked him in our weekly email to him.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hey Ya'll!

North Half of the West Virginia Charleston Mission
(Elder Alley is just below the tree on the right hand side. Click on the pic to see it larger.)

November 17, 2014

Dear Family,

How's it going everyone? I got Mom's email and I agree that I'm really grateful for that old house of ours as well. It may not be the fanciest, but it has way too many good memories for me to complain about it. It really is true, there's no place like home. 

To start off this letter, I'll answer the weekly housekeeping questions:

1) Grandpa's suit fit me well when I wore it at the MTC. I haven't gained weight (as promised, I've kept up with my morning exercises) so it should still fit. I'm planning on wearing it during December so as to channel Grandpa's Christmas Spirit for this year. However, I might send it back home after that because I'm worried that it might get damaged out here in the field. Like I said, I might or might not do it, I'll think about it. My other suit fits very well. If I do send back Grandpa's suit back, then send me the other suit.

2) Yes, I did get to read all of my e-mails last week. Thank you so much.

3) I don't know where the printer is. It's not in the computer room that I'm in. But don't worry about it.

4) We'll be having Thanksgiving with a member family called the Bentleys. They are just an awesome family and so supportive to missionaries. I'm guessing that it might be a regular proselyting day but I'm not entirely sure. What I do know is that I'll be joining the Missionaries vs. McKinneys (member family) Turkey Bowl tradition. It'll be fun!

Now for my report this week. Don't worry about the trailer. The trailer has been very warm so we're okay. The only other missionaries that I see every so often are Elder Cluff (District Leader), his companion Elder Wheeler, and the Winns (Senior Missionary Couple). 

I've got to tell you, I just love the Winns. They are just so kind and hard-working. Elder Winn's willingness to help others, kindness, and humor remind me so much of Grandpa. In a way, it's like Grandpa is serving a mission with me. 

Well, I think that's everything. The work here in Martin, Kentucky is moving a little slow but we are doing alright. I love you all and I can't wait for Christmas 2016. Take care everyone. Please keep me in your prayers. Have a great Thanksgiving.

Elder Michael Alley

Monday, November 10, 2014

My Spiritual Growth

Michael with Sis. Salisbury & Pres. Salisbury
(His mission president & wife)

November 10, 2014

Dear Family,

I'm really sorry that this e-mail came in late. Apparently, the library that we're using is now requiring the missionaries to get library cards if we want to use their computers. There were some other weird things that happened, too,  but luckily we got them resolved.

Anyway, I'm glad that things are going well at home. I'm glad that Aubrey is making new friends. I'm also stoked that Aubrey really wants to try out for the dance team. She will be awesome in that. I'm also grateful for the miracles that are happening at home. I also want to thank everyone who's checking up on me and keeping tabs on me.

Man, how do I describe this week? I'd say that it was a spiritually powerful week. I got to give a talk during sacrament about "Patience". To be honest, I felt like I needed to hear that message more than the congregation. As I read a few verses from D&C 121-122 (not all of them, just a few), I felt overwhelmed by the Spirit as I read about Joseph Smith pleading to Heavenly Father while he was in Liberty Jail. As I read them, I felt like I was personally asking the question, "God, where art thou?" I admit I cried at the podium as I recited those words. But then I read D&C 122:8 where Heavenly Father asks Joseph Smith, "The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?" I then read Alma 7:11-12 to the congregation and testified to them that the Savior knows that it hurts to wait sometimes but He will help us through it.

I wish I could write more but I'm limited on time. Please know that I love you all and miss you all. You're all in my prayers.

Elder Michael Alley 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What's Up Ya'll?

Pics of the inside of Michael's trailer
(It actually looks pretty nice and is impressively clean and tidy.
Way to go Elder Alley and Elder Buttars!)

Well, the trash does need to be

Helping at the ward Halloween Party

November 3, 2014

Dear Family,

How's it going everyone? How's life back in good ole Spokane, Washington? My homesickness may not be as bad as it was on my first day at the MTC, but I still miss you guys. It's definitely not going to be easy to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas without you. But that will just make Christmas 2016 even more enjoyable. 

Anyway, this week has been good. The missionary work here is a little slow, though. Then again I'm still trying to figure out what the heck I'm doing. We have some investigators but the Martin 1st ward also has a lot of less actives that they need help with. I'm not saying this to be negative, I'm just still trying to figure out what I, as a missionary, can do to help. Right now, I'm having enough trouble just trying to remember how to get from one place to another. 

On a more positive note, we had an awesome ward Halloween party. I even got to help with one of the games. You'll see it in the pictures. I'm really loving the Martin 1st ward. The members may be few in number, but they're just the nicest people you'll ever meet. They're also super supportive of missionaries so we get a good amount of dinner appointments.

As for grocery shopping and e-mailing: we're doing that in a nearby town called Prestonsburg where there's a library that has computers we can use and a nearby shopping area. I also have been using my iPod but mostly to listen your messages when I'm feeling down. Thanks guys.

As for the mailing: yes, packages are left on the porch but we always find them first thing in the morning.  

Well, I think that's everything. I hope you all continue to do well at home. Take care everyone.

Love you all,

Elder Michael Alley