On exchanges with Elder Stoddard
Me, Elder Kropushek, Elder Bosen (comp) and Elder Stoddard
April 18, 2016
Dear Alley Family & Friends,
How's it going y'all? Thank you to everyone who wrote to me and sent me pictures to keep me updated on life back in the "Normal" world ;) Ha ha. Seriously though, thank you for keeping me updated and in your prayers. You have no idea how much that means to me.
Before I share with you about my adventures this week, there is one item of business that I want everyone to be aware of. Due to the change in the MTC schedule for English speakers, (those who are serving within the states will be in the MTC for 3 weeks instead of 1 1/2 weeks) this transfer and the upcoming ones will be altered to accommodate for the change in arrival times for new missionaries. This transfer is 7 weeks long and there is another transfer that will be about 5 weeks long. I'm not sure what the other transfers are like. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because next week will be transfer week and, for whatever reason, that's week's p-day will be on Tuesday, April 26 and the Wednesday following will be the transfer day. Because I've been in Masontown for about 4 1/2 months and I don't have a lot of time left in the mission field, I think there is a good chance that I'll be transferred but I don't know for sure. Just keep this info in mind as you send me letters or packages. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up.
Now for the important part of the message. This week was a pretty good week for missionary work. We had a district meeting where I and my district discussed about how to make our weekly planning sessions more effective and guided by the Holy Ghost, had exchanges with the Morgantown Zone Leaders (Elder Stoddard & Elder Kropushek, the "u" is silent), setting up an appointment with one of our less-actives, and overall, just working more effectively to find people to teach by using our area book and all the information that's in it. We actually found a couple new potential investigators that seem really promising.
One of those potentials is a young family consisting of a mom, dad and a little girl (probably no more than 6 years old). Elder Bosen and I found the mom and daughter near the beginning of the transfer when we were looking for a less-active member. We used the updated roster to find more less-actives to teach and this one less-active had an address that took us to a trailer home lot. The roster didn't have the number of this less-active's trailer so at first we didn't know what to do about it. But I remember getting this strong feeling to go tract around this trailer lot. So I followed the prompting and eventually we found the mom and daughter. The mom and her husband were working in a restaurant in Morgantown where another companionship of missionaries would eat at and so they got to talk to them for a bit. A couple weeks later, Elder Stoddard and I went to their trailer again and talked to the husband and set up an appointment. Well, Elder Bosen and I went back there on Sunday, April 17 to follow up and we only got to talk to the mom. While the appointment didn't go the way that I was hoping it would, the mom was really nice to us and seemed really interested in our message. We gave her a brief overview of the message of the Restoration, gave her a pamphlet to read before we come over, and exchanged phone numbers so that we can call and set an appointment.
The reason this experience was significant to me was because 1) we may actually be able to finally teach a family about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ (which, by-the-way, is what most missionaries hope for) and 2) it got me realizing that the Lord really does prepare His children to receive His servants in His own way. It's hard to explain, but a lot of times I hope that I will be the one to convert someone to the gospel and it will only take me 6 weeks or less to do so. However, true conversion takes place only between God and His child who is actually going through the conversion process. We, as missionaries, only invite and teach people to come unto Christ, not convert them. Also, the Lord's timetable is not our timetable. The Lord knows how each His children learn and how long their education takes. More often than not, 6 weeks is not enough time for a person to learn about and truly come unto Christ. The Lord knows how to get His work done, I just get to be a part of it.
I hope this rambling of mine makes sense. Always remember, I love you all and miss you all. take care everyone.
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Michael Alley