Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Seeing the Lord's Hand in the Work

May 31, 2016

Dear Alley family & friends,

How's it going y'all? I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day. We as citizens of the United States of America (despite our country's imperfections that many people are quick to point out) really do have a lot to be grateful for. We have been blessed to live in a land of freedom. Freedom to speak out our opinions, to choose what to believe in and many other blessings that the Lord has given us. But freedom would never have been achieved if we didn't have such brave men and women who were willing to defend our country and freedom. For those who have lost their lives in their service and for those families and friends of those brave souls, we thank you for your service. More importantly, we love you for your service. May you all be blessed for your sacrifice.

For those who are curious about the title, the commandment of "acknowledging the Lord's hand in all things" (not sure where in the scriptures it says that or what general conference talk that teaches it) is something that's been on my mind recently. Being a missionary is not easy and the Huntington West area has proven to be very challenging lately. Because it was a holiday weekend, many people were out of town so we didn't get to meet very many people. For those we did meet through tracting, many of them would turn us away for various reasons. Not to mention that I really hate the heat and humidity here (yowza, it's been hot over here).

Nevertheless, I know that the Lord was and still is involved with us in this work. For example, Elder Lane and I have travelled to many different addresses in search of former investigators and less-active members. Apparently, many of them have moved out somewhere else. While we may not have gotten many people to teach, this did allow us to update the ward roster and area book, which can really help future missionaries to make more effective plans in the future.

Another example is that today, before coming to e-mail, there was a member family who was moving to Maryland but they needed help moving their stuff from the storage unit to their U-Haul truck. However, none of the other members were available to help. As a result, the zone leaders (who serve in the same ward as we do) called us to help this family since they were already tied up in another service activity. Well, we had two teaching appointments set up around that time, so we wouldn't be able to give a lot of time to help this family. However, both of those appointments were cancelled on us, so we were able to help this family get all their stuff in the truck. While I don't like teaching appointments falling through, I believe that the Lord made it happen so that we could help this family when other people couldn’t.

These are just a couple of examples to prove that the Lord is involved in this work. If the mission has taught me anything, it's that staying positive can give us "eyes to see" the Lord's hand in our lives. Well, I'm going to get off my soap box (basically, it means I'm done talking your ear off. ha ha). I hope you all have a great week. I love you all and miss you all. Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley

Monday, May 23, 2016

Today's News: More WVCM Stories by Elder Alley ;)

May 23, 2016

Dear Alley Crew & Partners-in-Crime ;)

How's it going y'all? Man, it sounds like everyone is doing awesome! The Piano Guys concert definitely looked and sounded like a lot of fun. The "Bubble Talk" game also looks fun. The captions and pics were hilarious. Y'all have got to teach, me that game when I get back in less than 5 months (not that I'm counting either. Ha ha). Still, thank you all so much for keeping me updated and in your prayers. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

Well, for this week, Elder Lane and I have been doing some more tracting (door-knocking) and picked up some potentials but there were a couple events that I want to focus on:

1) We picked up a family to teach! Awesome! We found this family while tracting this one apartment complex a few weeks back and we've trying to follow-up with them since then. We were finally able to get an appointment with them this week and taught the message of the Restoration! It was an okay lesson. It's just always hard to teach when a 4-year-old just won't sit still during a lesson. Ha ha. Oh, well. That's mission life for you. Still, I'm happy that we were able to teach a family.

2) We found an unexpected opportunity to serve! What happened was that, right after our lunch break, Elder Lane and I drove our car to this parking lot that was near this street we were going to tract. When we got out of the car, a man walked up to us asking to borrow our phone to call his dad. We gave him the phone and waited until he called his dad to come pick him up at a nearby Kroger store. When he got done, we talked with him and got to know him a little bit. His name was R and he got jumped on by some jerks while he was outside in the middle of the night and they robbed him of his wallet and phone. Hence, why he needed to borrow our phone and call his dad for help. Afterwards, he left to get to the store to meet his dad at and thanked us for letting him borrow the phone. I gave him our phone number before he left so that he could call us and let us know if he got there safely. We haven't heard from him since then but I hope that he's okay. Still, I'm glad that we were at the right place at the right time to help someone.

Well, I think that's everything. I hope you all continue to have fun and enjoy life. I love you all and miss you all.

Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley  

Monday, May 16, 2016

Tortoise Hunting & Umbrellas Can Bring People Together

The Logan District: me, Elder Johns, Elder Yocam, Elder Lane (comp),
Elder McCrae and Elder Caldwell
Neighborhood Free Library...

Looks like a good place to add a Book of Mormon to...
I'll trade you a Book of Mormon for a Hobbit. ;)

May 16, 2016

Dear Alley Family & Friends,

How's it going y'all? First off, a big congratulations goes to Kayli Kirchhoefer and her new husband for getting married. Best wishes go to them. I'm glad everyone had fun at the wedding. Is it just me, or have there been a lot of weddings lately? I think my cousin Nicholas was the first to be married, then my cousin Rachel, then Jarom Abel, then Ryan Larson and now Kayli Kirchhoefer. If that's not enough, two of my former companions, Elder Barney and Elder McMullin, who have been home for a while are also married! One of them even sent me a wedding announcement. Is everybody getting hitched these days? Ha ha. Still, I'm happy for all them. Congratulations everyone!

Now, you're all probably wondering about the meaning of the title. Well, what happened this week was that we found a couple potential investigators this week, and in the most unusual but also hilarious way. I already shared this story with my mission president so I'll just show you what I wrote to him. I hope you all get a kick out of it. Ha ha:

"The first potential we found was a lady named E. We found her while we were tracting around this apartment area and we found a tortoise on the sidewalk. Figuring that it was someone's pet, we knocked on this one door, asked the people there if they were missing a tortoise and then they called their neighbor E over and helped her get her tortoise back. She was very grateful for helping her find her pet and she said that we can stop by her apartment later. We haven't been able to catch her home yet to set up an appointment but we'll keep trying."

"The other potential was a girl named T. We met her when we were walking back to our apartment while it was raining. She saw us, parked her car and gave us an umbrella to use (we told her that our apartment was not far but she wouldn't take "no" for an answer). She then met us outside our apartment the next day to pick up her umbrella and, thinking that this could be a good opportunity to teach someone about the gospel, I asked her and her boyfriend K, "Have you ever heard about the LDS church before?" This opened up to a great conversation where we actually got to teach a little bit of the restoration message. They told us they were busy most of the time but they gave us a phone number so that we can follow-up with them. It was awesome! I hope we get to meet them again soon."

While hunting tortoises and giving back umbrellas are not the first things that come to mind when I think of methods of finding new investigators, I'm definitely not complaining about it. The tortoise hunting story is my personal favorite and looking back on it just puts a smile on my face. I thought it was funny. "Preach My Gospel" specifically says that "There are many honorable ways to find those being prepared for the restored gospel" (see section "Finding Through Your Own Efforts"). I guess helping people find their pet tortoises is one of those "honorable ways". Ha ha.

Well, that's all I got for this week. I love you all and miss you all. Take care everyone.

Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley

Monday, May 9, 2016

Things I Will Miss About Being a Missionary

Our Mother's Day Skype call with Elder Alley
Us as we were saying goodbye...
Us right after the call is over and the screen goes blank. :(
Hurry up, 5 months!
May 9, 2016

Dear Alley Family,

How's it going y'all? It was awesome to see all your faces and hear your voices again! I really did enjoy our time together. Sure, it was a little hectic with all the technical difficulties, but who cares? This will only make a great story to share with our future generations ;) Ha ha. Still, it was great to see everyone.

Well, I don't really have much to report to you all in this e-mail since we already talked about it over Skype. However, after our session, I thought a lot about your question to me: "What will I miss about being a missionary?" Well, I've been thinking about it and I didn't get a chance to give my full answer to you over Skype. So, I will just give you full answer in this e-mail.

As I have always said before, being a missionary is hard. My complaints about it have ranged everywhere from getting sick of wearing a white shirt and tie EVERY SINGLE DAY to being frustrated with people who either just close the door on us or actually try to contend with us to prove that we are a false church when they have done absolutely NO RESEARCH to back up their arguments. If they did do any research then, more often than not, they look at the wrong resources and not the resources provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Basically, people who judge God's true church to be false and His members as either deceived or evil out of either ignorance or just pure stupidity just drive me up the wall. I'm definitely not going to miss having to put up with all that stuff.

However, as I said over Skype, there are some things that I will miss as a missionary. Mainly, the friends that I've made out here in the mission. I will miss the members (active and less-active) who were always willing to help us out or just talk to us. I will also miss many of my former missionary companions and other missionaries who either were my leaders or just happened to be in my unit. I will also miss President Salisbury and the counsel that he’s given me since being here.

I'm also going to miss all the moments I had when I felt so enlightened and inspired by the Holy Ghost to just "go and do" the Lord's work. It's hard to explain the feeling of excitement and joy that came from either reading something in the scriptures, listening to something that the Prophet and Apostles said in General Conference, or just hearing something in sacrament meeting and then all of sudden feeling like I can serve the Lord and that nothing is impossible. Like I said, it's hard to describe so I'm just rambling here. Hopefully, it makes sense to you.

So as you can see, there are some things that I'll miss as a missionary. I promise that I'll continue to do my best for the Lord here. Until then, I love you all and miss you all.

See you all in 5 months!  Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley    

Monday, May 2, 2016

Greetings from Huntington West!

May 2, 2016

Dear Alley Family & Friends,

How's it going y'all? Man, transfers are always nuts for me. Usually because (at least it feels like it for me) they always seem to happen at the very moment when you just feel like you finally got your area figured out. Then you get sent somewhere else and you have to start the whole process all over again. Oh well. That's missionary life for you. Ha ha.

Anyway, things are going good here in the Huntington West area. It's definitely a lot more populated area and there are more neighborhoods and places to eat out at. Now, I don't want to give too much away in this e-mail since I'll be talking to you all over Skype this Sunday. AWESOME! LAST SKYPE SESSION UNTIL I GET HOME! I'm so stoked for that!

So the plan for the Skype session is that Elder Lane and I will be having dinner with a member family and we will Skype at their house afterwards. So, you shouldn't have to worry about missing church at all. I'll give a text beforehand to let you know what happens.

Alright then, that should probably do it. Like I said, I don't want to give too much away since I'll be Skyping you guys. So be sure bring all your questions to the Skype session. I can't to talk to you all, especially you, Mom. Happy Mother's Day (even if it's a little early to be saying that)! Until we meet again, I love you all and miss you all. Take care everyone.

Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley