|Taking a post meeting lunch hour break|
February 29, 2016
Dear Alley Family & Friends,
Happy Leap Day everyone! Wow! Can you believe that we already heading into March? I was looking at the calendar this morning and a thought hit me that said, "Tomorrow will be the month of March, then the April General Conference will come, then it will be your Jump Day, then it will be Mother's Day (when I get to Skype home for the last time) and then, before I know it, I'll be home! Yowza!" I promise that I'm not trunky (missionary code word for "seriously homesick"), I'm still focused on the missionary work. It's just that it's really mind blowing to me how quickly my missionary service is coming to an end. Man, oh man.
Well, this week here in the mission field we had a stake missionary meeting (a meeting for both full-time and ward missionaries who are in the Clarksburg Stake) and stake conference. Let me tell you, it was awesome! President Salisbury (our Mission President), his wife and Elder Bennett of the Seventy spoke to us in both sessions. There were many things that stood out to me in those meetings but one message that I want to share with you is that members and missionaries need to develop a partnership in spreading the Lord's gospel. In the missionary meeting, both President Salisbury and Elder Bennett talked about how missionaries and members need to be united and working together if we are to be effective in spreading the gospel and President Salisbury brought this up again in Stake Conference. In the mission meeting, Elder Bennett told us a story of a time when he was running a marathon and he saw two elder missionaries on the side. When he ran by them, he raised up his hand and yelled out to them, "Elders, the gospel is true!" Then the person running next to him asked him, "What are elders and what is the gospel?" Elder Bennett then told us that for the next 2 or 3 miles they had a gospel discussion. He then told us that all of us, both missionaries and members need to open our mouths and share the gospel. After hearing that, I then heard conversion stories from a couple converts during stake conference and they both mentioned how their journey into the restored gospel of Jesus Christ began because they had friends who were members of the church.
After listening to these messages, it got me thinking about how we can work more closely with the members and ward council in spreading the gospel. It also got me rethinking about my hopes of being a member who isn't afraid to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those around him. To make the long story short, I've been thinking a lot lately about the kind of person that I want to be after I'm done being a missionary. I believe it was Elder Russell M. Ballard who once said, "R.M. does not mean 'Retired Mormon'". I've been thinking about it and wonder if "R.M." should really mean "Ready Missionary".
I'm still putting my thoughts together on this but I encourage everyone to really ponder upon the possibilities of what you can do to help share the Lord's gospel to those around you. What can you do to be in partnership with the missionaries to help spread the message of Jesus Christ's Atonement with everyone? As President Salisbury would always say, "Ponder the possibilities."
Well, I think that's everything. I hope all is well in good ole Spokane. Take care everyone. I love you all and miss you all. Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Michael Alley