Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hot & Humid But Still Hanging in There

July 25, 2016

Dear Alley Family & Friends,

How's it going y'all? Man, that cabin that hosted the family reunion looked sweet! Those jerseys look cool as well. Can't wait to get mine. I'm glad everyone had fun at both EFY and the Family Reunion. Keep up the fun y'all.

As for me and Elder Boer, it's been really hot and humid over here in Huntington but we are still hanging in there. We've been doing a lot of tracting and walking in order to find more people to teach and by the time we are done for the day, we are just drenched in sweat. On the bright side, a lot of people who saw us out and about were very kind in giving us either water or Gatorade bottles. They may not have been interested in learning about the restored gospel but it's always nice to get some sympathy and something to drink.

But despite the heat and humidity, we have actually seen a lot of miracles this week. We now have an investigator on date for baptism, taught an awesome lesson about the Book of Mormon to a recently found investigator, and taught an amazing married couple about reading the Book of Mormon.

Let me tell about this couple: their names are A and T. They're both members of the church but they haven't attended one for years. They met each other during their service in the army, working in Air Traffic Control. A is now currently taking training in Air Traffic Control for a small airport and T is currently going to school to get a bachelors degree in Aeronautics. They're both super nice and they have three kids.

What makes them unique is that T is actually a cousin to a sister missionary who also serves in this mission. To make the long story short, the sister missionary talked to President Salisbury who then talked to our zone leaders who then sent us the address to go find them. I first met them with Elder Lane and now I'm working with them with Elder Boer.

Elder Boer and I met them on Sunday and we originally planned on reviewing the Restoration with them because it has been a while since Elder Lane and I taught them the restoration and I only met them twice. But during Personal Study, I felt impressed to read 1 Nephi 11 and came across this verse, "And the Spirit said unto me: Behold, what desirest thou?" As soon as I read those words, I realized that we needed to focus the meeting on understanding what their desires and concerns are. I'm glad I read that verse because that resulted in an amazing meeting where they were very open and honest about their desire to have the Spirit more in their home but they did have some concerns about coming back to church. In the end, we invited them read the Book of Mormon as a family and have plans to meet them and their kids in August to teach them the Restoration. It was awesome!

Well, I'll go ahead and let you party animals go now. I love you all and miss you all.

Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Off to a Good Start!

Charlie demanded a picture be taken of him :)

Elder Lane
Our District: Elder Kropushek, Elder Boar (my comp), Elder Yocam, 
Elder McCrae, Elder Powell, Elder Adams, and I

July 18, 2016

Dear Alley Family & Friends,

How's it going everyone? I hope you all are recovering well from the last couple of busy and emotionally draining weeks. I also hope that Aubrey and all of my cousins will have fun at EFY and that Max's transition from mission life to "normal" life goes smoothly. Have fun with that one bro ;) Ha ha. Still, I hope everyone is doing okay.

Well, as I said in my last e-mail, my new companion is Elder Boer. He is good ole, hard-working farm boy from Star, Idaho (he said it's located somewhere outside of Boise). He loves hunting and anything that involves being outdoors. What makes this companionship interesting is that he actually came out on the mission field with me (we weren't in the same MTC zone but we were in the same travel group) and I knew him when we were in the same district back when I was serving in Parkersburg North, WV. And that was over a year ago! #ElderAlleyIsGettingOldInTheMission ;).

So with all this in mind, that means that there are one of two possibilities that could happen to me: 1) I could transferred to a different area for my last transfer so that Elder Boer could take over and get my replacement settled in, or 2) We both finish our last two transfers here in Huntington West and kill each other off! How crazy would that be? Personally, I'm willing to bet that we'll just both finish our missions here in Huntington West. But, you never know.

Anyways, so I already knew Elder Boer and I was so excited when I found out that we would be companions because he is a good, hard-working missionary. In fact, right after he got settled into the apartment, we just got right to work. The results are that, within just four days of being together, we already found a ton of potential investigators and picked up two new investigators! It was awesome! So we are off to a good start.

One story that I would like to share with you happened on the second day of our companionship. One counsel that President Salisbury gave to the mission recently is that we should stay and work in one area all day. The reason for this counsel is that we, as missionaries who have cars, have a terrible habit of driving from one person's house to another and not get any lessons or finding opportunities in (it's a long story). Well, my goal for this transfer is to put that counsel to that test. So, instead driving from house to house, Elder Boer and I just picked a couple addresses to go to and either walk there or drive and then walk there. If they fall through, then we just tracted around that area for the rest of day. This resulted in a lot more opportunities to talk to people.

On the second day of our companionship, Elder Boer and I found this one family in their backyard swimming pool and talked to the father. We did our usual missionary intro and invitation to learn about the restored gospel and we then set up an appointment with him and his family this evening. However, the real story is that after we left this family and worked the area for the rest of the day, we were making our way back to our apartment when we ran into the father again and he was surprised to see us still out and about. As a missionary, I love seeing shocked reactions from people who see us walking around trying to spread the Word of God. For me, this allows more teaching opportunities because that usually gets people curious as to why we do what we do. It's always an awesome experience.

Well, I'll go ahead and let you guys go. I love you all and miss you all. Take care everyone.

Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley  

Greetings from Elder Alley!

Michael got to see the Bentleys again and Trish was nice enough to send pics.
Thanks, Trish!

With Elder Lane

July 11, 2016

Dear Alley Family & Friends,

How's it going everyone? I hope you all are doing okay. I know that this week has been a very draining week for everyone, physically, mentally and emotionally. But I'm very grateful to know that the funeral service for Uncle Marc was well taken care of. I am so proud of all my family members and friends of Uncle Marc and his family for coming together and showing love and giving service at such a critical time. You all are truly amazing!

Max! Congratulations bro! Way to finish your mission like a boss! You are awesome! I would have been satisfied to just know that you finished your mission honorably and made it home safely. But after reading Mom's e-mail about how you were a trooper in attending Uncle Marc's funeral after being back home for no more than a day and the love you showed to everyone and being a proxy for Uncle Marc, my respect and love for you has increased ten fold. Now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your mission was a success because of how much you have become like Christ. Way to go bro!

Well, the only thing that's happened this week was just some more tracting and letting Elder Lane saying good-bye to everyone since he'll be going home. The news for the upcoming transfer is that I'll be staying in here in the Huntington West area and my new companion is Elder Boar! I'm so excited for this transfer because Elder Boar was in my district back when I was serving in Parkersburg North and he is a good, hard-working missionary! He is also one of the missionaries that came out at the same time that I did. In other words, we may both be finishing our missions here in this area! How crazy is that?

Well, I'm going to let you all go now. I can't wait for my homecoming ;) I love you all and miss you all.

Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Jesus Christ: The Real Superman!

July 5, 2016

Dear Alley Family & all friends of my family,

I wish to express my love and concern for my cousin, Sister Anika Alley, who is currently serving as a full-time missionary for God's true Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to the people of the Washington Kennewick Mission and to her family, my Aunt Julia and my cousins Adison, Anton, Juliana, Abram and Aaron. I love you all and I want you all to know that my fellow missionaries in my district, my mission president and I are all praying for you. We pray that you will feel and continue to feel Heavenly Father's love for you, as well as the love from all your friends and family. I love you all and if there is anything that I can do to serve you all, even though my power to do so is limited, please don't hesitate to e-mail me and let me know. In fact, don't ever hesitate to call on all of us, your fellow Alley clan members and friends, for help. We are here and are ready to serve you. to Uncle Marc, I love you and miss you. Until we meet again, say "hi" to Grandpa Alley for me.

Some of you may have already heard that President Salisbury, my mission president, gave my family permission to call me on the phone on Sunday evening. While I do wish that the circumstances that allowed the call to happen were a little more joyful, I really did enjoy our brief reunion. During the call, I told my family that this e-mail would be a little different than my previous ones. The title and the topic of this e-mail have actually been on the back of my mind for quite some time, but I wasn't sure when and how I would be able to write it. But in honor of Uncle Marc and his family, I pray that the Holy Ghost will guide my words so they will inspire more faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and bring hope to Sister Anika Alley and her family.

Ever since I was a kid, I loved superheroes. The idea of beings who had powers and abilities to perform feats that would be impossible for normal humans to do have always fascinated me. If my Mom hadn't told any of you about this little hobby of mine, I was so fascinated with superheroes that I tried to create my own superheroes in a notebook. Unfortunately, they're not DC or Marvel comic quality, but I really did enjoy making them. In fact, I had quite a few companions who actually rekindled my childhood hobby and love for superheroes and creating them. Of course, that's a story for another time.

Over the years, I developed a long list of superheroes that I really admired. One of my favorite questions to ask people is, "Who is your favorite superhero?" While my list of favorites have changed over the years, there is one superhero that has always remained somewhere on my list. His name is Superman.

There are those in the world of comic book geeks that don't like superman because he is considered "over-powered." However, I find that his powers are awesome! Not just because the powers themselves are cool, but because of how he used those powers. With the power to fly, superman could travel to Hawaii any time he wants a vacation. Instead, he uses it to fly people to safety. With his strength, he could knock out anyone who doesn't give him respect. Instead, he uses it stop heavy objects from crushing helpless victims.

In the movie "Superman Returns", superman was flying around with Lois Lane to find out why she typed up this article called "Why the World Doesn't Need Superman". Lois Lane, in anger, tells him that because he left her and the world for five years, they had to learn how to move on without him. She then yells to him, "We don't need a savior!" Superman then flies high in the sky with her and tells her that his super hearing allows him to hear everything. He then explains, "You say the world doesn't need a savior. But from up here, I hear people crying for one." Despite what anyone thought or said, Superman knew that there were those who needed him and knew that he had the power to do the impossible.

When I thought about this scene, this thought then came to my mind: This is exactly what Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ hear. In fact, aren't we all crying for a Savior? Don't we all, at one point or another, wished for someone who could the impossible?

Since the beginning of time, God's children, even if not all of them, have cried unto Him for help with one trial or another. The children of Israel cried unto Him to deliver them from the Egyptians and God sent Moses unto them. But Moses then taught them, "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken" (Deuteronomy 18:15). After Lehi and his family left Jerusalem, he also prophesied about "a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews-even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world" (1 Nephi 10:4) and taught that "all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer" (1 Nephi 10:6). Well, this Prophet, Messiah and Savior did come. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Since the beginning of time, I honestly believe that God and His Son Jesus Christ have heard someone crying for a Savior, someone who had the power to do the impossible. The power to give second chances, the power to heal broken hearts and the power to bring back lost loved ones. I believe that when the time came for Jesus Christ to come to mortality, He was overjoyed and determined to fulfill the prophecy that said, "...he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered."
 "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise" (2 Nephi 2:7-8).

Well, He did come and He did have the power to the impossible. He healed broken hearts, gave second chances and reunited loved ones. But more importantly, He fulfilled the Atonement. He paid the price for our sins so that we could become clean. He rose from the tomb on the third day so we will all rise again.

I wish I could accurately describe the feelings I have in my heart for the Savior. But I hope you all understand this: We do have a superman. We have a real superman. His name is Jesus Christ! The Son of God! The Savior and Redeemer of the World! The Great Mediator! He definitely earned all these names that were given to Him. I hope that everyone knows that when I call Jesus Christ the real superman, I'm trying my best to give Him the greatest respect that I can muster. After all, "who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Like Ammon, "I cannot say the smallest part which I feel" (Alma 26:16).

I leave with you my testimony, that I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I know that He rose from the tomb on the third day and that because He live we will live as well. We will see Uncle Marc, Grandpa Alley and all our loved ones again because the Lord has promised it and He always keeps his promises. I say these things humble in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you all and miss you all. Now and forever, Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley