Friday, February 19, 2016

Lessons Learned

Our ninja neighbor in Masontown, Jonas Dixon. :)
A kind sister shared this photo of Elder Alley and his companion, Elder Bean, enjoying pepperoni rolls at her house after a long cold (-2 degrees) day.

February 15, 2016

Dear Alley Gang,

How's it going y'all? Man, I wish I could've been at Sam's dance party. It looked and sounded like a lot of fun! Now that's a party! Also, I now know something I want to do when I get back home: I want to try the Pieology place. The freedom to customize your own pizza? Now that's a place I want to have in Spokane! Come on Spokane, step up your game ;) Ha ha. Still, I'm glad everyone had fun.

Well, this week in Masontown was a slow week for us because Elder Bean got sick and then transitioned to back pains after stretching. The good news is that he's feeling better. The bad news is that we weren't able to get out much because of his condition. Oh well, stuff like this happens. We were able to visit a few people but we mostly stayed inside the apartment until he got better.

Luckily, it wasn't all that bad. While Elder Bean was resting, I was enjoying some extra personal study time. I'm not gonna lie, I actually enjoyed the extra personal study time. I definitely received a lot of inspiration and personal revelation from the Holy Ghost during that time.

One insight that I received came from reading Matthew 4:1-11 in the New Testament. In this account, we read about the Savior's experience of fasting for forty days and forty nights and resisting Satan's temptations. In the King James Version, it reads that Jesus Christ was with Satan during the entire time He was fasting. However, thanks to Joseph Smith who revealed some corrections, we know that the beginning of the account actually says, "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be with God. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, and had communed with God, he was afterwards an hungered, and was left to be tempted of the devil...". When I read the entire account, a thought came to me from the Holy Ghost that said, "Even though this experience of fasting and communing with Heavenly Father weakened Him physically, it greatly strengthened Him spiritually." This experience was needed so that Jesus Christ would be fully ready to fulfill His earthly ministry. It worked because we also read, "...Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan..." and from that point on, Jesus Christ was teaching His gospel and helping God's children.

When I read that account, I realized that Jesus Christ's experience can be likened unto us as missionaries. We spend two years "fasting" from worldly things such as movies, news, music, etc., so that we can focus on serving the Lord. While I do miss those things, I also realized that by fasting from them I've been able to grow immensely in my testimony and faith in Jesus Christ. This is how, in my own way, I've been able "to be with God" and commune with Him through the Holy Ghost.

My mind was blown from this personal revelation because it helped me realize that we can't know our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ if we're too focused on things of the world. The best part is that this experience is not just for missionaries. It's for everyone! If we really want to know and follow our God, then what are some things that we need to "fast" from? What are some things that are keeping us from following Him and His Son? I hope this rambling of mine makes sense. Ponder about this insight and see what you can do to have your own experience of communing with God, just as Jesus Christ did.

Well, I think that's everything. I love you all and miss you all. Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley  

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