Thursday, January 15, 2015

First Official Transfer Coming Up!

At the Mission Christmas Conference

Sharing his testimony
Michael and his companion, Elder Buttars. After transfers this week, he'll have a new companion,
but get to stay in Martin. We're grateful to Elder Buttars for the great training he provided
Elder Alley while they were together. The training period is over now. Time to hit it for reals. :)
He spent Christmas at the Bentley's house. He and Elder Buttars had a great Christmas over there.
Now there's something right up Michael's alley (pun intended)
Fine looking missionaries
With the Bentley Family
This family takes such great care of the missionaries. Elder Alley adores them.
I'm so grateful for people like them!

Elder Alley is a happy guy. He LOVES spaghetti.
Good call to put the towel on. (We've seen how he eats spaghetti. lol)
Lunch with some more of Elder Alley's favorite people :)

January 14, 2015

Dear Family,

First of all, I can't thank you guys enough for writing to me. I'm also truly grateful to you guys for putting our names in the temple's prayer roll. Please know that I find great comfort in knowing that my family and friends are rooting and praying for me from back home. Thank you everyone so much!

Well, as the title says, my first official transfer is coming up and the result is this: I'll be staying in Martin, Kentucky for another 6 weeks with a new companion. The Ashland Zone Leaders have told me that my new companion's name is Elder Barnie. I won't meet him until some time tomorrow, but I heard that he's a really nice guy.

Elder Buttars was a good companion who gave me some good advice and I thanked him for training me and putting up with me. To be honest, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this transfer. Part of me is looking forward to it, however, because I'm the one who is staying, that means I'm the senior companion ("senior" as in I know this area better than he does) and I'll be the one in charge. To be honest, I don't want to be in charge. I don't want to be a leader. I'm usually fine with just being on the sidelines. The best way that I can describe it is that I'd rather be the sidekick who wants to help, instead of the hero who gets most of the responsibility. Does that make sense? I'm not saying this to be negative. I'm just saying that I really don't like being in leadership positions. The fact that I survived being a Zone Leader at the M.T.C. was a miracle on its own. Oh well, it is what it is. Just please keep me in your prayers that I'll be able to make the most of this transfer. Please and thank you.

Speaking of "thank you". Could you thank Uncle Matt for me for his generous donation to our mission funds by buying the Play Station 3? I was not expecting him to give us that much. Thank you so much Uncle Matt!

To answer some of your questions: Yes, Grandpa's suit does still fit but I might send it home because I'm worried about it getting damaged out here. It is an old suit after all. I'll think about it after this transfer week settles down. As for what I was doing in that picture of me at the Christmas Conference: I was bearing my testimony of the true meaning of Christmas using Luke 2:8-20. Prior to this conference, me and a few other missionaries were asked to bear our testimonies about the true meaning of Christmas at the end of the conference. As I was bearing my testimony and reading them the story, I told them about the time when I asked mom, "Why did God send angels to shepherds?" I asked this question because during this time, it made more sense to me that God would send angels to His prophets and other chosen servants. Mom, I remember you telling me that (it may not be word for word) God loved the shepherds just as much as He loves us. Because the birth of His Only Begotten was such an important event, He wanted everyone to know about it, including the lower-class people like the shepherds. So important, that He sent angels to spread the Word about His Son. As I told this story, I testified that we, the missionaries, must be like the angels spreading the message of the Restored Gospel to everyone, including those who most people would over-look. It was a very special moment for me.

Before I end, I want to share with you one cool event that happened to me this week. I was on exchanges in Prestonsburg with Elder Wheeler and we came across this martial arts dojang after we had dinner. To make the long story short, Elder Wheeler saw my excitement when I saw the dojang and convinced me to go inside and talk to the teacher there. We did and the teacher and I had a great discussion about martial arts and its history. I wasn't able to get the gospel into the conversation, but the teacher said that we can stop by again and exercise with him if we want! I felt like I just opened up a new future for missionary work! It was awesome! I'm hoping that we can work something out where I can come back to help get the Prestonsburg Elders set up with the martial arts teacher. At the end of the day, Elder Wheeler told me that he loves watching missionaries "geek out" because that helps people to feel more comfortable around him and be more open to him. It was a great exchange.

Well, that's all for now. I love you all and miss you all. Take care everyone.

Elder Michael Alley

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