Dear Alley Family & Friends,
How's it going y'all? A big shout out goes to Aubrey for achieving the Skip Fanning Award and finishing up Northwood like a boss! Way to go sis! That's another Alley down for the Northwood legacy.
If you all get chance, let Coach Barnes and Coach Jones know that Elder Michael Alley says "Hi". Man, I miss those guys and all my teachers at Northwood. I could not have asked for better teachers. They were awesome!
As for me and my world of missionary work, this week was definitely a lot better than the last one. Yeah, we still had some trouble finding new people to teach but we were blessed with an amazing teaching moment. This week we had a teaching appointment with one of our current investigators. Our investigator has been meeting with missionaries for quite some time and really enjoys our visits. She's also been coming to church almost every week and loves the good feeling she gets from our visits, coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. She's been progressing really well, until we taught her the Word of Wisdom and then, a couple weeks later, the law of chastity. To make the long story short, she has been struggling to follow those commandments. Well, during our companionship study on the day of our appointment with her, Elder Lane and I felt impressed to focus our lesson on the blessings that come from keeping those commandments. So, we whipped out Preach My Gospel manuals, studied the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity to find those blessings, found a couple of scripture of verses to enhance our lesson and then looked at the Mormon Message: "Your Potential, Your Privileges" from the dvds that dad sent me at the beginning of my mission to finalize our lesson plan.
When we studied the commandments, the blessing that stood out to me the most from both of them was the promise of a greater influence from the Holy Ghost. With this in mind, we went over to our investigator's apartment and, with the help of Brother Pulley (a convert who is the nicest man you'll ever meet and has always helped us with our lessons), we taught her about the blessings of keeping the commandments and promised her that if she will live the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity that she will feel a greater influence from the Holy Ghost and thus she will feel greater peace. The spirit was really strong during our lesson planning and lesson teaching and our investigator seemed more excited and willing to live those commandments. Brother Pulley, Elder Lane and I all left her apartment feeling good from that experience and feeling that that was what she needed to hear. It was an amazing experience!
With this experience in mind, I want to leave with you my testimony that God's commandments are meant to bless us. His commandments help us to stay safe physically and spiritually and keep us free from negative influences. During my time as a missionary thus far, nothing bugs me more than hearing people say that the Church restricts people's freedom, when they have never listened to the members' or my testimony that these "Church Rules" are actually God's Commandments and that they only increase our freedom. I know these things to be true. I love you all and miss you all. I'll be back before you know it. Until then, Hurrah for Israel! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Michael Alley