Monday, January 18, 2016

Gut-Check Time!

Masontown Ward Chili Cook Off

January 18, 2016

Dear Mom, Dad, Aubrey, Ashley and all my peeps ;)

Well, before I tell you my story for the week, let me just take some time to answer Mom's questions:

1) Yes, I'm feeling better. I just had to deal with the common cold.

2) I haven't gotten my new mission card yet, but I'm doing okay. Many of the Masontown members have given us some food to feed us and Elder Bean does a good job cooking. We have quite a bit of pasta products and spaghetti sauce.

3) No, the car has not been fixed yet. However, it just needs a new grill and one of the workers at the autobody shop told us that it's an easy and quick fix. The car is still useable, so we just need to be careful until they get the grill for it.

4) No, the new investigator is no longer investigating. Elder Bean and I arrived for our appointment with him and he told us that he didn't want any more follow-ups. He's been confused by these other preachers' different doctrines and he didn't want anymore doctrines to pile on the confusion. Despite our best efforts to invite him to reconsider his decision, the best we could do was just invite him to read the Book of Mormon and call us when he wants to learn more (we gave him our phone number). To be honest, if I was him, I probably would have done the same thing, so I don't blame him.

5) The Masontown Ward is awesome because they are just so nice to us and they are fun to be around. They do a great job with setting up ward activities and they are fun. We even just had a chili cook-off this Friday. #ILoveChiliCookOffs!

Wow, that actually took longer than expected! Sorry about that. Okay, so here's the real story that I wanted to share with you:

This week has been full of personal revelations and spiritual growth for me. One experience that I want to share with you happened when Elder Bean and I had to drop this investigator couple. What happened was that this investigator couple has met with missionaries for a while but they weren't progressing. Neither of them were interested in joining the church and the wife especially refuses to believe in modern-day prophets or read the Book of Mormon (let's just say that talking with her is "interesting" and that's the nicest way I can put it). Well, one evening while we were visiting them, I felt impressed by the Spirit to ask them how they felt about our visits. Their answer was that while they do like talking to us, they just have no interest in joining the church and wife just told us what I just told you. We all then agreed that it was best to limit our visits with them. Elder Bean and I also agreed that we needed to drop them as investigators since they expressed no interest in learning truth, but just to debate with us. Luckily, we ended the visit on good terms.

But before we left, something happened that I felt was a defining moment for me. The wife asked me if she could offer some "advice" to me. Even though I had a feeling that her "advice" was not going to be in favor of the church, I said "yes" to be polite. Looking at the Book of Mormon that I held in my hands, she told me, "You had better listen to the Word of God because that will not get you closer to Him." After she said that, with all of the dignity that I could muster, I looked her in the eyes, held up the Book of Mormon and replied, "I have full confidence that it will."

No matter what other people may say, I have had too many great experiences in reading the Book of Mormon to make me doubt about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon has brought me closer to God and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that the Prophet Joseph Smith told the truth when he said, "...a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." The Book of Mormon is true, it is the Word of God, and Joseph Smith was God's chosen prophet who translated it through God's power. This mission has only strengthened my testimony that this all true.

I hope this rambling of mine makes sense and that it has helped to increase your faith as well. I love you all and miss you all.

Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley

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