|On exchanges with Elder Shirley|
November 16, 2015
Dear Mom, Dad, Aubrey and Ashley,
Let me start off by saying, "Welcome home Ashley! You did an awesome job serving the Lord!" I'm not going to lie, it was so weird seeing Ashley with a Spokane background. I'm just so used to seeing her with a Thailand background. Ha ha. Still, I'm glad she made it home safely and I can't wait to hear her homecoming talk.
Now, you're probably wondering about the title "Good Things to Come". Well, it was inspired by both a Mormon Message and general conference talk given by Elder Holland who talked about his experience of having to walk to a town to find help with his car and family. In his talk, he urged us to keep pressing forward and trust that blessings will come. Well, last week was not my best week and so I hope that this week will be better.
Right now, I'm still trying to adjust to the changes that have happened recently. Adjusting to a new phone (had a meeting where we, as a mission, have switched phone providers, so we now have new phones with new numbers) and nights getting longer. With the nights getting longer, Elder Taylor and I have decided that we are not tracting any hollows at night because they just don't seem safe at night. However, there aren't many members who live close by that we can just visit with. We only have so many miles for the month and we already used a lot of them to get to certain meetings. Needless to say, this has caused me some mental stress to just figure out how to keep ourselves busy for the evening. Right now, the best plan we have to compensate for the evening is making phone calls at 7:00 pm to set up appointments and have dinner at 8:00 pm. Elder Taylor is helping me work through this and even gave me a blessing. I don't mean to worry anyone. It's just that I want to serve my mission to the best of my ability while also using common sense. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing.
However, despite the difficulties, the Lord has blessed me with some tender mercies. My personal favorite: Elder Kopischke of the Seventy and his wife came down to the Charleston Stake building for a Zone Conference! I just love these meetings because I always feel so inspired to get back to work afterwards! The biggest lesson I took away from it was that when we are teaching people about the gospel, we need to have the power of godliness and not just the form of godliness. Basically, we need to help others feel the spirit of God and the power behind our message about Jesus Christ and His Atonement. If they don't feel anything then they won't be inspired to make changes in their lives. The Spirit is the one that should be teaching, not just the missionaries talking. I hope this makes sense.
Well, I think that's everything. Even though this week was not my shining moment for missionary work, I still felt the Lord's tender mercy as I did my best to push forward. I love you and miss you all.
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Michael Alley