Sunday, August 16, 2015

From West Virginia with Love

Service project at Amy Powell's house.
Add roofing to his new skills :)

August 12, 2015

Dear Mom, Dad, Aubrey and all my Family & Friends,

Let me start by saying, "Thank you Mom for your letter." You have no idea how much that letter helped me get out of the funk I was in. I am honored to join the ranks ;) I also never knew about Samuel H. Smith's experience as a missionary until you sent me that letter. Missions have always been tough, but to do it without any training from an M.T.C. or formatted lesson plans? Man, I developed a lot of respect for Samuel Smith for that. I was also inspired when I read that even though he got no baptisms, him just giving two Book of Mormons helped bring two great leaders to the church.

Since being out here, the prophet Abinadi and now Samuel Smith have become my heroes. Why? They may not have gotten any baptisms or seen the results of their work, but their testimonies helped to bring others to God. It reminds me of what one of Ashley's companions said, "There are no such thing as half miracles. But we may not get to see the end result" (I'm not sure I quoted that right but hopefully you know what I'm talking about). I hope that the effort I'm putting out here in the mission will have a similar impact. Mom, thank you so much.

Well, another week has gone by and we're still not seeing much progress with the work here, but here's another tender mercy from the Lord that's very special to me. One day, Elder Jarman and I were tracting on this one street while it was raining. Before we got out of the car to work, I realized that I did not have an umbrella with me. I was a little hesitant to get out but then I thought to myself, "You know what, I'm from Washington and we get a lot of rain up there. I'm going to embrace the rain today." Another thought that came to me was, "If a cross and tomb could not keep the Savior down, then why should rain stop me from doing my job?" With these thoughts in mind, we went out and tracted the street.

Now you're probably wondering, "Yes, Elder Alley. We can see that you're not afraid of some rain. But what's the tender mercy?" Well, we got to talk to a few people who were from different faiths (shocking ;)) and, even though they weren't interested in learning from us, they had a lot of respect for what we did and they even told us that they wished that their churches would do more to spread the Word of God like we are. One person even told us that she was impressed by how dedicated we are when she saw us out in the rain. To me, this was the Lord's way of showing me that there are people who do appreciate what we do, whether they're members or not. To be honest, that was probably the best tracting experience I ever had as a missionary.

Well, that's my story for the week. By the way, the mission office called this morning and told me that my driving privileges will be restricted for a while since, even though it was an accident, it was still a "preventable" accident. I'm not too happy about that but rules are rules. Oh well, I guess I should be grateful for the driving experience I had so far and that I'm restricted for a while, not forever. I'm still waiting for them to tell us where to get it fixed and how it's going to be paid but hopefully we'll get over this issue soon.

Anyway, hope things are going well in good ole Spokane, Washington. I love you all and miss you all. Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley

P.S. I struggled hard to not laugh too loud after reading about the Loaded Questions highlights. Hurray for jorts references!

P.S.S. We haven't been able to get in touch with Bill for some time. So, I don't how he's doing.   

P.S.S.S. Before I forget: Elder Jarman and I are both staying in Flatwoods this transfer. Sweet, I really like our apartment anyway. Take care y'all.

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