Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Right before transfers

January 19, 2015

Dear Family,

As always, thank you so much for your e-mails and letters. You have no idea how uplifting it feels to either look in your mail box or e-mail account and find that someone was thinking about you and wrote to you. It really is true that you love to receive letters and e-mails when you're serving a mission.

Man, this week has been a week of changes. I get a new companion, Dad is wearing reading glasses (he actually does look like Grandpa, except for the hair color), I finally reached 100 days in my mission (about time), Max is past his 6 month mark, and Mom and Aubrey get a small taste of missionary life. Man, what a week.

To start off, I decided to keep Grandpa's suit after reading Grandma's last letter. If Grandpa wants it in threads, then I'm going to put this baby to threads (not literally, but you get the point).

Here's also some info about my new companion: his name is Elder Barney. He's from Arizona and went to Northern Arizona University for a year before coming out on his mission. He's got 7 siblings (5 sisters and 2 brothers). He's also a red-head (what are the odds that I would get another red-headed companion? Ha ha). He's also a really nice guy, laid-back, and very organized. In fact, in just a few days, we already got most of the kitchen in our trailer organized. Getting the trailer organized is our main project in the mornings before heading out to proselyte. Finally. So don't worry. I honestly have a good feeling about this companionship.

If there's anything that I want Mom and Aubrey to take away from this letter, it's this: I am so proud of you two. What you experienced is exactly what every missionary has to deal with. There's nothing more frustrating than putting so much work into sharing the gospel with someone and not seeing them act on the message. In the 3 months that I've been here, I have felt frustration with our investigators who cancel appointments on us, drop us or have felt the Spirit of God during an amazing discussion and then not make progress. Some of the reasons behind these events I can understand, while others just make me want to pull my hair out. Every time this happens, I have to be reminded of one very important gospel principle: agency. We all have the freedom to choose, which also includes the freedom to accept or reject the gospel. It's hard but sometimes the only thing we can do is just deal with it and move on.

However, don't give up just yet. I believe that you're encounter will have a huge impact in the long run. Just keep doing your best and let the Lord have the rest. Also remember that every time you go out with the missionaries and share the gospel with those you meet, you are working along side Sister Ashley Alley, Elder Max Alley, Elder Jacob Sok, and me. We love you and are so proud of you. We are also very proud of Dad for always being a wonderful father, priesthood holder, and now an awesome ward missionary. Keep up the good work everyone.

Well, that's all for now. I'll write to you again next week. I love you all and miss you all.

Elder Michael Alley

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