Monday, August 8, 2016

The Refiner's Fire: Never Fun But Always Necessary

August 1, 2016

Dear Alley Family & Friends,

How's it going y'all? Thank you everyone for always keeping me up-to-date on events back at home. I'm glad everyone had fun and was kept safe during their hiking trips, homecoming tours, talking with Japanese kids who are trying to speak English and so forth. I'm always grateful to know that I'm not completely out of the loop of your lives ;)

For this e-mail, I will focus on Mom's questions. My answers to her questions should explain what happened to me this week:

1) The name of the investigator who is on date to be baptized on August 13, 2016 is D. She has been investigating the church for a while and Elder Boer and I both felt like she would be ready to be baptized soon. However, it looks like we will need to move her baptismal date because she is struggling with some issues that need to be resolved first.

2) First of all, I want to thank my Mom, my Dad, and my sister Ashley for expressing their sympathy and prayers to me for my frustrations with the work lately.

I won't go into detail, but I've had a situation that resulted in my having anger towards someone. That person apologized, however, for almost the entire week I harbored this anger and resentment towards this person. (Note from Elder Alley's mom: The person is not his companion. I wouldn't want anyone assuming that. Elder Boer is awesome and Elder Alley is really happy to be working with him.) I even asked Heavenly Father in my personal prayers, "Why do I have to deal with this?" If this week showed me anything, it's that I struggle with forgiving those who I feel have wronged me in some way.

But then, something amazing happened on Sunday. During Sacrament Meeting, one of the members gave a talk based on Elder Kevin R. Duncan's General Conference Talk "The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness". As soon as this member mentioned the talk, the Spirit immediately grabbed my attention. When the member was done speaking, I realized that my problem was that I wasn't willing to forgive this person. I may have accepted their apology, but in my heart I didn't really forgive them. But Elder Duncan taught that the Lord expects us to forgive and let Him take care of justice. Mercy cannot rob justice but anger cannot bring peace. Only the Savior and His Atonement can bring us peace.

Since then, I've been praying to Heavenly Father to help me forgive this person and remove this anger from my heart. I'm still working on it, but I'm getting better at it.

Well, I guess I'll go ahead and let you all go now. I love you all and miss you all. Hurrah for Israel!


Elder Michael Alley  

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