Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Every Orchard has Its Good & Bad Apples

When your water heater busts...

June 8, 2016

Dear Alley Family & Friends,

Let me start off by giving a big congratulations to Aubrey for her awesome dance performances and winning first place in the drill competition (#LittleSisShowsThemHowIt'sDone!) ;), to Jacob for completing his mission with honor and making it home safely (#ElderSokFinishesLikeABoss) ;), and to Ashley for finding more beautiful places to hike around in (#TakeAHikeSis) ;)! Way to go everyone! Alley Clan Represent!

Well, this week was a pretty good week for Elder Lane and I. We were able to pick up two new investigators this week. One of them we found by tracting and the other is a 9-year-old-girl that her mother (who is an active member of our ward) asked us to teach. It actually does count to pick her daughter up as an investigator because she is over the age of eight but hasn't been baptized yet. Don't worry, I checked Preach My Gospel and with my fellow missionaries to see if that works. It does.

While I am grateful that we were able to pick up some new investigators, there was another cool event that happened this week that I wanted to focus on. When I was serving in Masontown, one of our neighbors (who we were really good friends with, even though he wasn't interested in learning the gospel) asked my companion and I if we get a lot of rejection from the people there. My response to his question was, "Every orchard has its bad apples here and there. But there are also good ones too. You just got to keep an eye out for them." Meaning that while we do meet some rude people who want to have nothing to do with us or any "mormon", we are also blessed to meet people who do respect what we do as missionaries and do see the good that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does for the community. Well, this week only proved my statement to be true.

This week we had exchanges with the Logan Elders (Elder McCrae, our District Leader, and Elder Johns) after a zone meeting. Elder Johns came down here with me to the Huntington West area. We spent the rest of the day walking around town trying to find some former and new investigators to teach and, as were walking, we kept running into some people who either gave us food, money to buy food or just wanted to thank us for trying to bring souls to Christ. For me, it's always awesome to meet people who, even though they aren't members of the Church, do appreciate and see the good that we do. It truly was a tender mercy from the Lord and I'm grateful to Him for sending these people down my way and for those people for showing me and all missionaries such kindness.

Being a missionary is hard and I don't always enjoy being in the refiner's fire (I rarely do enjoy it). But I am grateful for the trials in helping me better appreciate the small, simple but very important things in life, like small acts of kindness. Thank you Heavenly Father for all your tender mercies and thank you everyone for all you do to encourage and support me in my missionary service. I love you all and miss you all. Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley

PS Quick News: This week is transfer week but both Elder Lane and I will staying here in the Huntington West area. This is actually Elder Lane's last transfer so I'll be "killing him off" (missionary lingo that means I'll be his last companion until he goes home next transfer). I'm willing to bet that I'll be finishing my mission in this area as well because after he goes home, I'll only have two transfers left. Unless we get "doubled out" (missionary lingo meaning that both missionaries leave an area), which is very rare, I'll have to stay here to help the new missionary get used to the area and then I'll have one transfer before I go home. So I'll probably just "die" here (missionary lingo meaning that I'll finish my mission here). Only about 4 months/3 transfers to go. Yeah! That is all, thank you for your time. Love you all.

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